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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences board could make a significant decision at its June 23 board meeting — not headline-worthy changes in the best-picture race, but a subtler, long-ranging vote on membership that could affect upcoming Oscar results.
Traditionally, the late-June board meeting weighs issues like Oscar rules. A very vocal group has been campaigning for a return to five best-picture contenders, to replace the current plan (five-to-10 films). That change seems unlikely and counterproductive, but the bigger piece of news will undoubtedly be the list of new members.
After very loud criticism of the Academy for the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, the membership committee seems likely to again recommend a high number of invitations to a diverse crowd. There were 271 invitations sent last year, and 276 in 2013 — more than double the 133 average between 2004 and 2012.
- Tim Gray
Sources tell Variety that Hanks is in final talks to play the brave pilot who safely landed a troubled aircraft full of passengers on the Hudson River in 2009.
Based on the book by Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, the story takes a closer look at the man who became a national hero after his plane began to malfunction shortly after takeoff and he was forced to take drastic measures in order to save the passengers.
Producer Frank Marshall acquired the rights to the book in 2010 and had been developing ever since. Eastwood had been circling the Boston Marathon bombing pic “Patriot’s Day” at CBS Films, but decided to spotlight another American hero after coming across “Sully.”
Marshall will produce with Allyn Stewart.
Like Eastwood, Hanks has been drawn to playing roles based on real individuals, »
- Justin Kroll
It is coming up on a year since Williams passed away in August 2014, and Boulevard marks the final time we will see the gifted actor and comedian on the big screen (his final role, in Terry Jones’ upcoming Absolutely Anything, only features voice work by the actor).
In Boulevard, Williams displays his knack for dramatic acting once again as a bank manager who is in some denial about his sexuality, despite being married. He soon falls into a relationship with a young hustler and his life begins to change.
Directed by Dito Montiel (The Guide To Recognizing Your Saints), Boulevard co-stars Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Kathy Baker (Saving Mr. Banks) and Giles Matthey (24: Live Another Day) and opens in limited Us cinemas on July 10th. »
- Scott J. Davis
If you're only now getting acquainted with Tom Hardy after Mad Max: Fury Road that's a shame, though I do welcome you to the adoring fold. And if you're only familiarity with Nicolas Winding Refn is Drive, then you're missing out. In fact, Drive isn't even my favorite Refn film, and Fury Road, well, it may be my favorite Hardy film, but it's definitely a close call along with Refn's wonderful 2009 release, Bronson, of which some intriguing back-story has come to light as of late concerning casting the lead and the film's script. To begin, during a Q&A at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles promoting the release of the Bronson soundtrack on vinyl (via The Playlist), Refn revealed Hardy wasn't his first choice. In fact, Jason Statham was his initial target, but the script caused The Stath to balk. "I'm a big fan of Jason, and have seen a lot of his movies, »
- Brad Brevet
Making Fifty Shades of Grey was a horrifically punishing experience for everyone other than book author E.L. James. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson has gone on record about how on-set battles over the creative nature of the adaptation left her feeling like she never wanted to make a movie again, while stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are both seeking hefty pay raises in order to justify going through the same torment for two sequels. Now, screenwriter Kelly Marcel, who was forced to collaborate with James directly, has fired some shots in Universal’s direction about how the studio left her to fend for herself against the obstinate author.
Marcel, a guest on Bret Easton Ellis’ podcast, said that she has yet to see the finished film and doesn’t plan on it. Though Marcel is a seasoned scribe with Saving Mr. Banks under her belt, working on Fifty Shades of Grey »
- Isaac Feldberg
"Nobody is safe" – especially not Tom Hanks – in the intense first trailer for Steven Spielberg's upcoming historical thriller Bridge of Spies. The Oscar-winning actor stars as James Donovan, the real-life lawyer thrust into Cold War tension when tasked with negotiating the release of a captured American U-2 pilot from the Soviet Union.
Hanks' character is negotiating a prisoner swap with the Soviets, who demand their own officer, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), be released in exchange for the American pilot and classified information. It's a life-changing proposition for Donovan, who »
Here’s a first look at the official poster for DreamWorks dramatic thriller Bridge Of Spies.
Visit Facebook.com/BridgeOfSpies tomorrow at 9Am Pst to watch the new trailer.
A dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events, DreamWorks Pictures/Fox 2000 Pictures’ Bridge Of Spies tells the story of James Donovan, a Brooklyn lawyer who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War when the CIA sends him on the near-impossible task to negotiate the release of a captured American U-2 pilot.
Screenwriters Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events that captures the essence of a man who risked everything and vividly brings his personal journey to life.
- Melissa Thompson
Suffragette, the story of the British women who fought for the right to vote at the turn of the 20th century, has been named as the opening night film of the 59th BFI London Film Festival (Oct 7-18).
The period drama will receive its European premiere at the festival on October 7 – three weeks ahead of its UK release – at the Odeon Leicester Square, attended by cast members including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep.
The premiere will be broadcast live from the red carpet ahead of simultaneous screenings of the film at cinemas across the UK.
The film is produced »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
“Suffragette,” which stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep, will open the 59th BFI London Film Festival. The film tells the story of the ordinary British women at the turn of the last century who risked everything in the fight for equality and the right to vote.
Mulligan, Bonham Carter and Streep will be on the red carpet on Oct. 7 at the Odeon Leicester Square for the film’s European premiere, as well as other members of the cast, who include Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff and Ben Whishaw. They will be joined by the director Sarah Gavron, who returns to the festival for a third time. She reteamed on the movie with her “Brick Lane” screenwriter Abi Morgan (“The Iron Lady”). “Suffragette” is produced by Faye Ward and Alison Owen, who produced “Saving Mr. Banks,” the festival’s closing night film in 2013.
“Suffragette” is an intense drama that »
- Leo Barraclough
It’s been over a year since we heard the news that Sofia Coppola would direct a new version of The Little Mermaid for Universal Pictures and Working Title, and we’ve heard pretty much nothing about the project since. Which makes today’s news kind of non-news: Deadline reports that Coppola has exited the project, citing creative differences. The Lost in Translation filmmaker had been tasked with crafting a new live-action take on the Hans Christian Anderson tale, but it appears that we won’t be seeing her vision after all. Per Variety, She and Universal differed when it came to casting Ariel. Coppola was keen on newcomer Maya Thurman Hawke, the daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, but the studio was wary about the choice. Despite Coppola's exit, Universal and Working Title are still moving forward with the project, with Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands) having penned the »
- Adam Chitwood
As if The Founder didn’t already sound promising enough the highly anticipated biopic, telling the story of the notorious McDonald’s exec Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), has just added another very talented actor to its cast. B.J. Novak of NBC’s The Office has now joined the pic, marking the actor/comedian’s reunion with director John Lee Hancock.
The Founder is a dark telling of the rise of the massive McDonald’s food chain. The biopic will detail the true story of how Illinois salesman Ray Kroc met brothers Mac and Dick McDonald (John Carroll Lynch and Nick Offerman) in Southern California, where they were running a small-time burger operation. Kroc eventually took control of the siblings’ company and turned it into a billion-dollar fast food empire.
- William Fanelli
Cornball disaster-porn melodrama… in 3D! Dumb, insulting, and bloodless. It’s Hollywood’s subconscious death wish brought to life, in more ways than one. I’m “biast” (pro): like Dwayne Johnson, love Paul Giamatti
I’m “biast” (con): not enamored of disaster movies
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
San Andreas opens with a truly spectacular helicopter rescue of a woman whose car has plunged down a ravine near the Southern California coast. It’s nothing to do with the Big One about to strike the region (although maybe we’re meant to infer that the rockfall that pushed her off the road was a foreshock of the quake to come). It’s just another day at the office for Los Angeles Fire Department search-and-rescue pilot and all-around daredevil badass-in-the-name-of-good Ray and his crew.
The scene is visually dazzling — and not like anything we’ve seen before! »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The first trailer for Sundance Film Festival entry A Walk in the Woods has debuted online, and you can watch it below…
Based on the memoirs of Bill Bryson, Woods stars Marvel-vets Robert Redford (Captain American: Winter Soldier) and Nick Nolte (Hulk) as two old friends who team up to hike across the Appalachian Trial, across 2,100 miles. But rather than this being like Reese Witherspoon-starrer Wild, both men are in the golden age of life, and find it difficult to cope with the conditions surrounding them.
Directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Not That Into You), A Walk in the Woods co-stars Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation), Kristen Schaal (Bob’s Burgers) and Mary Steenburgen (Step Brothers), and opens in Us cinemas on September 2nd.
- Scott J. Davis
The last 10 minutes of a movie are often what shapes our opinion most -- a strong ending can soften our feelings about a bad movie, and a weak, tone-deaf ending can spoil a filmgoing experience far more thoroughly than any overly revealing trailer or review. Tomorrowland is often a breathtakingly gorgeous movie with charming performances, but the ending is so unabashedly lesson-driven and heavy-handed that it's difficult to remember anything but its flaws and missteps.
The movie's opening and closing scenes are meant as bookends, but these are bookends created by your clumsy kid brother in shop class on the day the nails ran short. The first scenes in particular feel like a hurried reshoot/restructure to get George Clooney onscreen earlier. Frank (Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) are speaking directly into the camera, making a video for an unknown audience. With interruptions from Casey, Frank begins setting up the »
- Jette Kernion
Love is never an easy road. And that will be none more apparent when filmmaker Michael Souder makes his directorial debut on By Day's End, a found footage thriller that will mesh the zombie apocalypse with the relationship drama seen from the perspective of a lesbian couple.
Exclusively centered around Carly and Rina's efforts to mend their deteriorating relationship while trying to survive a pandemic disease that has ravaged the world, the film will aim to tell an emotional love story wrapped around a premise horror fans have grown to love: the zombie survivalist thriller.
Previously a finalist in screenplay competitions including the Creative World Awards and Screencraft Horror, Souder will direct from a script written by himself and co-writer Justin Calen Chenn, creator of genre festival favorite 'Folklore,' which starred Ruth Connell (CW's Supernatural) and Laura Waddell (Saving Mr. Banks) and viral short sensation 'Sapphire Strange. »
Fuqua directs Denzel Washington (Training Day), Chris Pratt (Jurassic World), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Jason Momoa (Games of Thrones), Wagner Moura (Elite Squad), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer) and Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) in the new version of the classic 1960 film which starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Charles Bronson.
The remake has been written by Nic Pizzolatto (True Detective) and John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks) and sees a local woman (Bennett) seeking out a group of gunslingers to help protect her small town for a group of bandits.
- Scott J. Davis
The actress, who has been getting rave reviews for her performance in Alex Garland’s sci-fi film, will take the lead in the project for James Ponsoldt, the director behind The Spectacular Now and Smashed.
The Circle is based on a 2013 novel by Dave Eggers, and tells the story of a college graduate (Vikander) who lands a job at a tech-producing company, before she catches the eye, and affections, of the owner, played by Hanks.
- Scott J. Davis
As recently announced, Saving Mr. Banks' director John Lee Hancock's next film will be The Founder, a corporate bopic about the early years and rise to global domination of the McDonald's fast food corporation. Michael Keaton is in place at the top of the cast as Ray Kroc, the Illinois businessman who liked the company so much he bought it. And now Laura Dern is in talks to join the project as Kroc's first wife Ethel.The story revolves around Kroc, who encountered Mac And Dick McDonald running a small but efficient burger business in 1950s California. Recognising franchise potential in their business method, Kroc went into partnership with the brothers, and eventually bought their share of the business for a reasonably paltry $3m in 1961. He then went about turning it into the ubiquitous multi-billion dollar corporation we know today, by the sound of it rather neglecting Ethel in the process. »
“The X-Files” star Mitch Pileggi is set to join Claudia Lee (“Hart of Dixie”), Katharine Isabelle (“Hannibal”), Miranda Rae Mayo (“Pretty Little Liars”), Christy Carlson Romano (“Kim Possible”), Toby Hemingway (“Black Swan”) and Luke Baines (“Saving Mr. Banks”) in the indie thriller “The Girl in the Photographs,” which also stars Kal Penn and Kenny Wormald, TheWrap has learned. Horror legend Wes Craven (“Scream”) is executive producing the film, which is being directed by his protégé Nick Simon, who co-wrote the script with Oz Perkins and Robert Morast. Lee will play the title character of Colleen, a bored small-town girl trying to. »
- Jeff Sneider
London — ITV Studios Global Entertainment, the international distribution arm of U.K. TV network ITV, has acquired a minority stake in Monumental Television, the indie recently founded by producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward.
The agreement will see Itvs Ge exclusively distribute all television productions from Monumental, which is already in advanced development on several major scripted series.
Owen is the founder of production company Ruby Film and Television, which she set up in 1998. Along with producing feature films, including the Oscar-nominated “Elizabeth,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Jane Eyre,” Ruby was behind high-end television dramas “Case Histories,” “Dancing on the Edge” and “Temple Grandin,” which won an Emmy.
Hayward most recently produced the Oscar-nominated “Les Miserables.” She was formerly head of films at Working Title, where she had creative responsibility for the company’s feature film slate, including the “Bridget Jones’ Diary” franchise, “Atonement” and the multi-Oscar nominated “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. »
- Leo Barraclough
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