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James Franco in Talks for Comedy ‘Why Him?’ (Exclusive)

27 February 2015 4:03 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

James Franco is in early negotiations to star in Fox’s comedy “Why Him?”

A pair of Fox-based production companies — Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps and Ben Stiller’s Red Hour — are producing.

John Hamburg is attached to direct from a script he co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller and Ian Helfer.

The story centers on a Midwestern father who takes his family to visit his daughter — who is attending Stanford — at Christmas and subsequently gets into a competition with his daughter’s boyfriend, a young Internet billionaire.

Franco most recently starred in Sony’s satire “The Interview” with Seth Rogen. He’s completed work on “Queen of the Desert,” which premiered at Berlin, “True Story” and “The Adderall Diaries,” and will star in Hulu’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “11/22/63.”

Hamburg directed and wrote “I Love You, Man” and “Along Came Polly.” Stoller directed “Neighbors.”

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- Dave McNary

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Surfing on Incidents: A Conversation with Peter Zeitlinger

17 February 2015 2:02 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

“When I was a kid, I used to draw directly on the film frames and do animations, so I could use the expensive film much less, and be busy longer with it. The first thing I learned about filmmaking is that when you shoot in real time, all the film is gone so quickly, and you have to buy more...,” cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger told me during an informal chat we had in the lobby of his hotel, a couple of days before his “Measuring the Space” masterclass in the Berlinale Talents program during the Berlin International Film Festival.

Many years have passed since Zeitlinger's first, no-budget experiments with the medium of cinema: now he is one of the most sought-after cinematographers in the film business, and Werner Herzog's right-hand man since his TV documentary Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices (1995).

Using the Berlinale Competition entry Queen of the Desert (2015) as a case study, »

- Michael Guarneri

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45 Years tops Berlin Jury Grid

16 February 2015 4:53 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Critics rank Andrew Haigh’s double Silver Bear winner the best film in competition at the Berlinale.Click here to download the Jury GridClick here to view the Jury Grid on Screen

Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years has topped the Screen Jury Grid at this year’s Berlin Film Festival (Feb 5-15), scoring 3.4 out of a possible 4.

The film, which explores the strain placed on an old married couple, saw co-stars Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling pick up Silver Bear’s for best actor and best actress at the Berlinale awards ceremony on Saturday.

On the Jury Grid, 45 Years secured a rare ‘four star’ score from Screen’s hard to please critic Dan Fainaru.

It also saw off competition from the 18 other contenders scored by international critics for Screen.

Taxi, by dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi, picked up the Golden Bear on Saturday and was ranked joint third on the grid with a score of 3.1, alongside Jayro Bustamante’s [link »

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Berlinale 2015. Correspondences #7

12 February 2015 2:46 AM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Dear Adam,

What does it say that we've both put off discussing the new Werner Herzog film?  I must admit my profound disappointment at Herzog's first fictional feature film since his two-shot salvo of The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and My Son, My Son, What Have You Done? in 2009 and certainly his most expansive drama for decades. With a cast of James Franco, Robert Pattison, and Damian Lewis led by Nicole Kidman, Queen of the Desert adapts the true saga of Gertrude Bell, an utterly unique woman who at the turn of the last century plunged into the deserts of the Middle East by herself and become better acquainted and more influential among its myriad tribes and factions than anyone else before and probably since.

Yet for a director so adept at discovering, eliciting and pursuing a kind of inspired mania and adventurousness in his fellow man, »

- Daniel Kasman

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Best and Worst of the 2015 Berlin Film Festival – So Far

10 February 2015 6:04 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Scott Foundas: Hi Peter. Well, we’ve officially reached the midpoint of the 2015 Berlin Film Festival, although the most hotly anticipated event in this cold, cold town is still another day away. I’m talking, of course, about the world premiere of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which isn’t the kind of movie one typically thinks of as festival fare, but which events like Berlin and Cannes need as a kind of palate cleanser from the steady parade of world-class arthouse cinema from countries like Iran, China and Chile. Those movies may get you lots of ink in Variety, but it’s only a “Fifty Shades” that can get your red carpet splattered all over the picture pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Actually, the early days of Berlin haven’t exactly wanted for stars this year, with the likes of Christian Bale, Juliette Binoche, James Franco (surprise!), Nicole Kidman »

- Scott Foundas and Peter Debruge

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Werner Herzog Is Directing a Volcano Disaster Movie Called 'Salt and Fire' (Video)

10 February 2015 8:35 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Werner Herzog is jumping right back in the narrative-feature saddle for his next film, a romantic thriller called "Salt and Fire" set amid a global catastrophe. Screen Daily has the scoop: Veronica Ferres ("Hector and the Search for Happiness") plays a scientist up against the head of a major corporation responsible for an ecological disaster in South America. When warnings of a remote supervolcano bode global doom, they must team up to save the world—in spite of their ideological differences. Herzog penned the script and will produce alongside "Queen of the Desert" cohort Michael Benaroya, and Nina Maag of Construction Film and Pablo Cruz of Canana Films. The producers plan to shoot "Salt and Fire," currently heating up sales interest for International Film Trust, beginning April 2015 on the Bolivian salt flats, as Herzogian as any a vast landscape. Herzog visited a volcano in 1977 for his early documentary "La Soufrière, »

- Ryan Lattanzio

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Werner Herzog Is Now Working On Two Movies About Volcanoes

10 February 2015 6:21 AM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Being Werner Herzog's travel agent must be one of the most interesting jobs around. His documentaries and features have taken him around the world from the urban jungle of New Orleans to the very real jungle of Guyana, from deserts to the swampy interiors of South America to caves in France and the icy expanse of Antarctica. By this point, Herzog's Air Miles plan can probably buy him a few trips around the world. And it looks like his next adventure will take him to the edges of volcanoes. Upon the premiere of his latest feature "Queen Of The Desert" (review here) at the Berlin International Film Festival, word has emerged about Herzog's next couple of projects. In April, Herzog will head to the Bolivian salt flats to shoot the film "Salt And Fire." Screen Daily reports that Veronica Ferres ("Klimt," "Hector And The Search For Happiness") will star »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Robert Pattinson and Carice van Houten join Brimstone

9 February 2015 12:29 PM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Robert Pattinson and Carice van Houten have been cast in Brimstone.

The Twilight and Game of Thrones stars will join Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce in Martin Koolhoven's thriller, reports Screen Daily.

Set in the 19th century, the film will centre around a woman (Wasikowska) who is on the run from her past and a sinister preacher.

Pattinson will play an outlaw in the movie.

Van Houten will next be seen reprising her role as Melisandre in the fifth season of Game of Thrones.

Pattinson's upcoming films include Anton Corbijn's Life, Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert and The Lost City of Z.

Brimstone will begin shooting in May. »

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Robert Pattinson Fired Up For Brimstone

9 February 2015 7:09 AM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Clearly untroubled by the tribulations he suffered at the hands of Guy Pearce the last time two shared the screen in The Rover, Robert Pattinson is now attached to co-star in the actor’s latest film, Brimstone.Carice van Houten is also aboard the Western thriller, which boasts Mia Wasikowska in the lead as Liz, a young woman on the run from a difficult past who must flee a diabolical preacher (Pearce).Martin Koolhoven wrote the script and is directing the film in May this year, with Pattinson set as an outlaw, while van Houten’s role has yet to be announced. "Wasikowska is a powerhouse performer,” says producer Tim Haslam. “Guy Peace plays a hunter who unleashes hell. Martin directs a highly emotional, gripping and unique story of a mesmerising woman who battles the vengeance of a zealot.” Pattinson is at the Berlin Film Festival promoting his two most recent films, »

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Berlin 2015: 'Queen of the Desert' review

8 February 2015 11:15 PM, PST | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★☆☆☆ Revered Bavarian director Werner Herzog strains to marry his eccentric directorial style with the period epic in this rather stolid and strangely formal romance starring Australian actress Nicole Kidman as British explorer-cum-spy Gertrude Bell. Queen of the Desert (2015), which premièred in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, sounds the perfect project for Herzog: Bell was a famous eccentric who travelled to uncharted places and met curious characters. She was most famous as a woman's answer to Lawrence of Arabia (a man we'll encounter later) and was credited with drawing the map for much of the Middle East and settling the dynasties of modern-day Jordan and Iraq.

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- CineVue UK

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Berlin: Download THR's Day 5 Daily

8 February 2015 10:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Werner Herzog on Queen of the Desert The director spoke to THR about the personal nature of his latest film (a proposal scene was inspired by his own) and how Nicole Kidman was the one who wanted to add the nude scene. "It is a very beautiful, poetic scene," he said. THR's Actor Roundtable Jena Malone, Maisie  Williams, Bel Powley, Aidan Gillen and German actor Frederick Lau sat down with THR to talk about their Berlin films, and the high and lows of acting. Latest Deals On the night of its world premiere, Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups sold

read more

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- THR Staff

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Robert Pattinson joins Brimstone

8 February 2015 10:00 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Queen of the Desert star joins Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce.

Robert Pattinson and Carice Van Houten (Black Book, Game of Thrones) have joined Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce in writer-director Martin Koolhoven’s (Winter in Wartime) thriller Brimstone, which Embankment has launched at Berlin’s Efm (Feb 5-13).

Set to shoot in May 2015, the film will follow a heroine on the run from her past and a diabolical preacher. Robert Pattinson will play an outlaw.

Els Vandevorst (Winter in Wartime, Dogville) of N279 Entertainment is producing, in co-production with Studio Babelsberg, The Film Farm and Prime Time.

Nik Powell and Backup Media’s Jean-Baptiste Babin and Joel Thibout are executive producers while CAA rep Us rights.

Pattinson is currently in Berlin for Anton Corbijn’s Berlinale Gala Life, which screens tonight, and Werner Herzog’s competition entry Queen of the Desert, in which he plays T.E. Lawrence.

“Wasikowska is a powerhouse performer,” said Embankment »

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

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Werner Herzog Endures Salt And Fire

8 February 2015 4:01 PM, PST | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

Taking a break from his signature documentaries for a while, Werner Herzog has just wrapped his Gertrude Bell biopic Queen Of The Desert, and will continue in narrative feature mode for his next project. He'll direct Salt And Fire, a volcanic thriller starring German actress Veronica Ferres (Klimt, Hector And The Search For Happiness).The story, according to available sources, will involve drama and romance in South America, where scientist Ferres butts heads with the head of a corporation responsible for an ecological disaster. When a local supervolcano starts to display ominous signs, however, she has to team up with her antagonist to stave off a natural disaster.Herzog wrote the screenplay and will also produce, alongside his Queen Of The Desert cohort Michael Benaroya.“I couldn’t be more pleased to be endeavouring on another journey with Werner Herzog,” Benaroya says. “He is a truly special filmmaker and person. »

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Babelsberg Shows Off Hollywood Bond at Berlin’s ‘Queen of the Desert’ Party

8 February 2015 12:46 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

German powerhouse Studio Babelsberg celebrated Werner Herzog’s “Queen of the Desert,” starring Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Damain Lewis, at a party Feb. 6 Soho House In Berlin. Film is playing in competition at the Berlin festival.

The bash drew “Queen of the Desert’s” stars, including a cheerful and courtly Damian Lewis, who attended with his wife,  actress Helen McCrory, and James Franco, who came with MoMA curator Klaus Biesenbach and kept a low profile at the bar. The eclectic guest list also included Courtney Love, who popped up and posed for pictures with Biesenbach and Franco.

Babelsberg’s CEO Charlie Woebcken said the studio was happy to throw a party in Berlin for Herzog’s film because the helmer is a good friend and they are in early talks on his next project.

“We were in discussions to shoot the English parts of ‘Queen of the Desert’ in Babelsberg, »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Werner Herzog to direct supervolcano thriller

7 February 2015 10:00 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Golden Bear contender Werner Herzog is eying an April start on Salt And Fire, his Queen Of The Desert follow-up that is generating heat for sales agent International Film Trust.

German actress Veronica Ferres (Klimt) will star in the romantic thriller about a scientist in South America who clashes with the head of the corporation responsible for an ecological disaster.

When she learns of the potential eruption of a supervolcano in the region, the scientist teams up with her nemesis to avert a global catastrophe.

Herzog wrote the script and will produce with his Queen Of The Desert collaborator and Margin Call producer Michael Benaroya alongside Nina Maag of Construction Film and Canana FilmsPablo Cruz. CAA represents Us rights.

The producers plan to shoot Salt And Fire on the Bolivian salt flats.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to be endeavouring on another journey with Werner Herzog,” said Benaroya, a backer »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay) andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Berlin: Werner Herzog on Why He Made 'Queen of the Desert' and Working With Nicole Kidman

7 February 2015 5:40 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Yesterday Werner Herzog premiered his latest, "Queen of the Desert," at the 65th International Film Festival. It marked a wonderful occasion to see the legendary German filmmaker in the flesh and on his home turf. Read More: Berlin: The Best Things Werner Herzog, Nicole Kidman and James Franco Said About 'Queen of the Desert'"Queen of the Desert," Herzog's first narrative film since the 2009 drama "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?," stars Nicole Kidman as a Gertrude Bell, a brilliant woman who, along with T.E. Lawrence (of "Lawrence of Arabia"), was a highly influential figure in English foreign policy, and most known for assisting in the creation of today's Iraq. James Franco, Robert Pattinson and Damian Lewis also star in the biographical epic. In honor of the film's world premiere, Indiewire sat down with the iconic filmmaker to talk about his interest in the project, working »

- Eric Eidelstein

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Memento hails Panahi’s Taxi

6 February 2015 10:00 PM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Celluloid Dreams strikes deal after Berlin screening

Paris-based distributor Memento has signed a deal with Celluloid Dreams for Jafar Panahi’s Golden Bear contender Taxi, capturing life in contemporary Iran through passengers in a Tehran cab.

“The screening of Taxi went very well this morning and we’ve strong feed back from critics and distributors across the board,” said Celluloid Dreams chief Hengameh Panahi following Friday’s press screening.

Taxi is Panahi’s third feature since the Iranian authorities banned him from making films at the end of 2010, followingThis is Not a Film and Closed Curtain, which was in competition in Berlin 2013.

Panahi, who was also banned from travelling and giving interviews in 2010 sentence, was not able to travel to Berlin for the premiere of his film. 

This time around, Panahi has circumvented the ban by turning a yellow cab into a mobile film studio with a camera placed on the dashboard.

As the cab »

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James Franco, Nicole Kidman & Damian Lewis Attend ‘Queen Of The Desert’ Premiere At Berlin Film Festival

6 February 2015 2:08 PM, PST | Uinterview | See recent Uinterview news »

Queen of the Desert costars James Franco, Nicole Kidman and Damian Lewis posed together on the red carpet at the film’s premiere at the Berlin Film Festival Friday night. ‘Queen Of The Desert’ Premiere In Queen of the Desert, Kidman stars as British explorer, writer, archaeologist and political attaché for the British Empire Gertrude Bell. […]

The post James Franco, Nicole Kidman & Damian Lewis Attend ‘Queen Of The Desert’ Premiere At Berlin Film Festival appeared first on uInterview. »

- Chelsea Regan

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Daily | Berlinale 2015 Diary #2

6 February 2015 1:30 PM, PST | Keyframe | See recent Keyframe news »

In today's Berlinale Diary: Thoughts on Jafar Panahi's remarkable Taxi, the third film he's made and seen premiere at a major European film festival since Iranian authorities slapped him with a 20-year ban on filmmaking. Werner Herzog's Queen of the Desert with Nicole Kidman, James Franco, Robert Pattinson, Damien Lewis and Jenny Agutter has its moments but is overall surprisingly bland; and Andrew Haigh's moving 45 years with Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay is an accomplished followup to 2011 breakthrough, Weekend. » - David Hudson »

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Berlin Film Review: ‘Queen of the Desert’

6 February 2015 10:33 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The world is full of men content to spend their lives within a few miles of where they were born, men who will love one woman, learn one language and go to their graves hardly having dreamed at all. These are not the men about whom Werner Herzog makes movies, although it took until age 72 for the chronicler of such bombastic souls as “Aguirre” and “Fitzcarraldo” to deem a woman worthy of one of his mighty portraits. Better late than never, and though Nicole Kidman is hardly the female Klaus Kinski, in the formidable character epic “Queen of the Desert,” she conveys with quiet determination what Kinski never could: the kind of conviction that changes the world.

Leaning more on romance than one might suppose to capture such an independent spirit as Gertrude Lowthian Bell, whose self-directed explorations among and dealings with the Middle East’s many conflicting tribes informed »

- Peter Debruge

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