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After a few quiet weeks, business should pick up substantially this weekend. Three major new releases hit theaters, and young-adult adaptation The Maze Runner will likely finish at the front of the pack.Opening at 3,604 theaters, The Maze Runner is the latest attempt to cash in on the young-adult craze that's led to successful franchises like Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent.For every hit, though, there's at least two misses: in the past two years, the young-adult graveyard includes Beautiful Creatures, The Host, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Vampire Academy.Ahead of the weekend, it's pretty clear that The Maze Runner is going to avoid falling in to the latter category. While the existing fanbase is more-or-less on par with other would-be franchises*and much lower than The Hunger Games or Divergent*20th Century Fox has done a good job campaigning to non-readers.Marketing has nicely established the movie's mysterious premise, »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
I’m just going to put this out there: romantic comedies are now really hard to write. I mean, as a creative endeavour, it’s a full-on cliché minefield. To correctly balance all the elements required – chemistry, tension, humour, romance – while avoiding the most well-worn cinematic devices, is monumentally difficult. A fool’s errand, some might say. And yet, still they appear, because still writers try to bring something new and fresh to the genre. Still we buy those tickets, and sit in the dark – hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but knowing we will probably be disappointed.
So, here we are again, with a new trailer for another daring attempt. The film is titled Playing It Cool in this preview, but was previously known as A Many Splintered Thing. Does it achieve the impossible dream? Is this film that most elusive of treasures – that mythic creature that continually slips our collective grasp? »
- Sarah Myles
If the acquisitions frenzy and precedent-setting deals struck in Berlin and Cannes is going to continue, it will surprise many of the sellers who’ve come to the Toronto Film Festival to fill slots in their 2015 slates. Maybe it’s because there were so many spectacular deals this year, of perhaps it’s because Toronto 2014 is so stocked with studio films that star the likes of Robert Downey Jr, Bill Murray and Denzel Washington. Whatever the reason, acquisition titles seem to be lower key than last year, when Can A Song Save Your Life and Bad Words prompted overnight auctions and $7 million deals, and just about every movie that played here found distribution.
The deal action got underway yesterday and today with Relativity’s acquisition of The Woman In Black 2 and Saban Entertainment’s deal for fest title Tracers. All the ingredients for a continued buying surge seem to be there, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
The summer movie season is officially over, and this weekend we finally head into fall. Most of these impending new releases are vying for that elusive Oscar gold or any other semi-prestigious award being presented. We start this cinematic journey by looking at all the upcoming movies September has to offer. This first fall month is a little overcrowded, promising a fine mix of genre fare. We have a couple of Academy worthy dramas making their debut, an untested family franchise starter, a handful of comedies, yet another Ya novel adaptation, an action epic based on a cult classic TV show, the return of an iconic trio and one independent coming-of-age shocker that promises to push the boundaries of everything that has arrived before it. Hold onto your seats...
Here are this September's can't miss releases:
1The Longest Week
Tagline: She had him at 'I'm your best friend's girlfriend.' »
The Longest Week really wants you to know how smart it is. From its opening frames (analyst’s office, stuttered Allen-esque musings on Freud) the whole affair practically oozes snoot. You tread a fine line with these kind of films, running the extreme risk of completely alienating your audience with every achingly spacious apartment and pompous musing on theatre. Frasier and The Royal Tenenbaums did it right, most recently Mutual Friends did it wrong.
The line between charm and bemusement is fine, yet The Longest Week manages to dance all over it, then traipse it out into the parking lot and back again. Its smorgasbord of influences never really goes anywhere, alternately charming and irritating on its meandering way to nowhere in particular.
- Dominic Mill
Last year, 12 Years a Slave clinched the Academy Award for Best Picture at the Toronto Film Festival. Well, that’s not actually true. In fact, you could argue that the Best Picture winner almost lost the statue at the festival. Steve McQueen’s harrowing instant classic was so instantly and universally anointed in Toronto that seeds were planted for an inevitable backlash to flower in the six months before the Oscar winner was finally announced. Ultimately, 12 Years’ biggest Oscar competition came from another Toronto film, Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. Though both films premiered at Telluride and Venice, respectively, the awards »
- Jeff Labrecque
Universal’s making room for Alex Kurtzman and his Secret Hideout shingle. They’ve signed a three-year production deal with the writer-director-producer’s new banner, which is expanding its operations on the studio lot. Kurtzman, who first pacted with Universal in a two-year deal in 2012 with Star Trek co-scribe Roberto Orci and their K/O Paper Products, will be joined by Focus Features’ Jeb Brody and K/O’s Bobby Cohen as producers at Secret Hideout. Kim Rosen is also moving over to the new company from K/O Paper Products to serve as head of digital and interactive. Kurtzman & Co. will be adding additional offices on the Universal lot while developing filmmaker-driven projects with franchise and multi-quadrant potential.
Kurtzman continues to spearhead Universal’s relaunch of its classic monster franchises with Chris Morgan, starting with the Mummy reboot he’s helming for a summer 2016 release. He is also producing »
- Jen Yamato
Who says Americans don’t do irony? In their fourth collaboration, Us writer-director Marc Lawrence has placed actor Hugh Grant in the role of ‘belligerent fish-out-of-water who becomes reluctantly fixated on an unconventional love interest’ – and has called it The Rewrite. That’s pretty ironic, if you ask me, since their previous efforts produced Did You Hear About The Morgans?, Music And Lyrics and Two Weeks Notice.
In this latest turn on the merry-go-round, Grant stars as a washed-up screenwriter who once collected accolades, but is now forced to teach at a college. It is here that he finds himself drawn to a single mother trying to study there. His co-star in this ground-breaking effort is Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei, who fills the inter-changeable role of ‘woman who looks doe-eyed at bumbling Brit while he makes a declaration of love in front of other people.’ The pair is inexplicably »
- Sarah Myles
Previously announced leads Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale headline the ensemble cast that will be tasked with extensive motion-capture work to bring their animal characters pulled from the pages of Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book to life. Cumberbatch plays the tiger, Shere Khan; Blanchett the evil snake, Kaa; and Bale brings the panther, Bagheera, to life.
Other mo-capped roles include Andy Serkis as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui; Naomie Harris as the female wolf, Nisha; Eddie Marsan as Nisha's mate, Vihaan; and Jack Reynor as Mowgli's Brother Wolf.
Warner Bros. Pictures has assembled an impressive roster of stars for “Jungle Book: Origins,” its new big-screen, 3D adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book, marking the feature film directorial debut of Andy Serkis. The action adventure, which will blend motion capture and live action, will be released on October 21, 2016. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The actors performing the roles of the story’s central animal characters are: Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”) as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) as the sinister snake, Kaa; Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter,” the “Dark Knight” Trilogy) as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Andy Serkis (“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan (“Hercules”) as the leader of the wolf pack, »
- Kellvin Chavez
Lionsgate’s dystopian sci-fi thriller “Divergent” held off several new releases in the week ending Aug. 17 to top the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall DVD and Blu-ray Disc combined unit sales, as well as VideoScan’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart and the Home Media Magazine weekly rental chart for a second consecutive week.
The Cinedigm-distributed faith-based drama “God’s Not Dead” repeated in the No. 2 spot on First Alert, selling 64.6% as many copies as “Divergent.” The title, with 26% of its units sold coming in the high-definition format, fell to No. 5 on the Blu-ray chart with 38.8% as many unit sales as “Divergent,” which had 43% of its total sales on Blu-ray. “God’s Not Dead” dropped to No. 9 on the rental chart from No. 6 a week earlier.
Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” was the top new release for the week, debuting at No. 3 on First Alert with 56.3% as many units sold as “Divergent, »
- John Latchem
Get ready for the duelling Jungle Book movies.
Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that it has assembled a big cast of stars for Jungle Book: Origins, its new big-screen, 3D adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic The Jungle Book, marking the feature film directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
The action adventure, which will blend motion capture and live action, will be released on October 21, 2016.
Meanwhile, Disney’s The Jungle Book will be in theaters a full year earlier. Helmed by Jon Favreau, this film will star Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba and Scarlett Johansson, and will released October 9, 2015.
The actors performing the roles of the Jungle Book: Origins’ central animal characters are: Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”) as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Oscar winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) as the sinister snake, Kaa; Oscar winner Christian Bale (“The Fighter, »
- Michelle McCue
It’s a jungle out there, at least where Hollywood is concerned.
Hot on the heels, er, paws, of the announcement that funnyman Bill Murray is playing lovable bear Baloo in that otherJungle Book adaptation by Disney, Serkis’ film has gone for prestige by adding Oscar winners Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett, and the internet’s favourite Brit, Benedict Cumberbatch to the cast.
Serkis’ version of the Rudyard Kipling story reportedly sticks close to the original text, focusing on the orphan boy Mowgli, played by Bad Words’ Rohan Chand. A mix of CGI and live action, Mowgli will encounter Bale’s Bagheera the panther and the slithery charmer Kaa the snake played by Blanchett. After perfecting his taunting and »
- Rachel West
Coming hot on the heels of the news that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) will lend his voice to Shere Khan in the upcoming Warner Bros. adaptation of The Jungle Book, it has now been revealed that Christian Bale (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Naomie Harris (Skyfall), Tom Hollander (About Time), Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan), Peter Mullan (Hercules) and Rohan Chand (Bad Words) have signed on to the Andy Serkis-helmed Jungle Book: Origins.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Chand will play the orphan boy Mowgli, with Bale as panther Bagheera, Blanchett as python Kaa, Harris, Marsan and Mullan as wolves Nisha, Vihaan and Akela, and Hollander as Shere Khan’s underling jackal Tabaqui. Meanwhile, Serkis – who is making his directorial debut with the film – will also play Baloo the bear.
- Gary Collinson
Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, Peter Mullan, and Serkis himself will all join Benedict Cumberbatch as the animal characters in the feature, which mixes together motion capture, CG animation, and live action. Bale will voice the fearsome panther Bagheera; Blanchett, the sinister python Kaa; and Serkis, the beloved Baloo the bear. Mullan, Harris, and Marsan will all voice members of the wolf pack that raises Mowgli, and Hollander will play Tabaqui, the underling jackal of »
- Jake Perlman
Yesterday, the news came out that Benedict Cumberbatch will be providing the voice of Shere Khan in the Andy Serkis–directed adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Today, the rest of the cast was announced and, boy, are two of these people famous. The Hollywood Reporter reports Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett will provide the voice of animals. No, Bale is not going to voice a bat, sillies. He’ll be Bagheera, a panther and the human protagonist Mowgli’s guide through all the jungle bookery. Cate Blanchett will voice Kaa, the python who in the Disney cartoon constantly tries and fails to eat Mowgli. Rohan Chand, who co-starred in Jason Bateman’s Bad Words, will voice Mowgli. Serkis will play Baloo. The cast will also include Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan, and Peter Mullan. It doesn’t look like anyone will play orangutan Louie, which is »
- Jesse David Fox
The cast for Warner Bros.’ Jungle Book: Origins has filled out nicely today. Benedict Cumberbatch was announced earlier as the voice of Shere Khan and now the rest of the cast has been announced. Christian Bale will voice Bagheera the panther while director Andy Serkis will voice Baloo the bear. Cate Blanchett has been cast as hypnotic snake Kaa while Peter Mullan plays Akela, the leader of the wolf pack that raises the man cub Mowgli, who will be played by Rohan Chand, the young actor from Jason Bateman’s Bad Words. Rounding out the wolf pack are Naomie Harris and Eddie Marsan as Nisha and her mate Vihaan. Finally, Tom Hollander will play Shere Khan’s underling, Tabaqui the jackal.
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Yesterday we learned that Benedict Cumberbatch has joined Andy Serkis' film production of The Jungle Book: Origins as Shere Khan. Today he's been joined by a great cast of actors that includes Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan. They will all voice various characters in the story. The movie also stars Rohan Chand (Bad Words) as the human boy Mowgli. Serkis will also take on a role in the film.
Bale is set to take on the role of the panther Bagheera, Blanchett will voice the snake Kaa, Hollander will be the jackal Tabaqui, Mullan will voice the leader of the wolf pack Akela, Harris is the female wolf Nisha, Marsan is her mate Vihaan, and Serkis will play Baloo the bear.
- Joey Paur
A day after it was revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch would play the villainous Shere Khan in the film, Warner Bros. Pictures has released a full list of the cast for the Andy Serkis' helmed adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book".
Serkis, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Eddie Marsan, Tom Hollander and Peter Mullan are all set to join Cumberbatch and young "Bad Words" star Rohan Chand in the film which will employ a mix of motion capture, CG animation and live action.
"Jungle Book: Origins" follows an orphaned boy raised by wolves who befriends members of the animal kingdom who help him grow up. Callie Kloves wrote the script while Jonathan Cavendish will produce. The casting list is as follows:
Christian Bale as Bagheera the Panther
Cate Blanchett as Kaa the Python
Rohan Chand as Mowgli
Benedict Cumberbatch as Shere Khan the Tiger
Naomie Harris as »
- Garth Franklin
So, once again Hollywood studios are competing needlessly for properties based on public domain works. First there was the battle over last year's Snow White movies, and now comes a couple of flicks based on "The Jungle Book." Jon Faverau has his production at Disney, a live-action/animated take involving Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray and newcomer Neel Sethi. Not to be outdone, Warner Bros. are lining up an equally star-studded cast for their rendition directed by Andy Serkis, which will be called "Jungle Book: Origins." Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan are joining previously announced Benedict Cumberbatch and "Bad Words" kid Rohan Chand as Mowgli for a film combining motion capture, CGI, and live action. So, who is who? Well: Serkis is Baloo, Bale is will voice Begheera, Blanchett lends her »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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