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‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Looks to Reclaim Box Office Crown From ‘Scream’

‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ Looks to Reclaim Box Office Crown From ‘Scream’
After one weekend outside of the No. 1 slot, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” could be surging ahead to lead the domestic box office once again. The Marvel entry and the slasher sequel “Scream” are locked in a tight battle this weekend, with “No Way Home” projected just ahead of its competition.

Columbia Pictures is projecting a $13.5 million gross for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” over its sixth weekend at the domestic box office, a soft 30% drop from its previous outing. After practically redefining the rules of the pandemic era box office, the mega-hit MCU entry is finally beginning to wind down its theatrical run. The release should expand its domestic cume to $720.4 million through Sunday. “No Way Home” currently stands as the fourth-highest grossing film in the history of the domestic box office. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($936 million) and “Avengers: Endgame” ($858 million) are likely out of reach at this point, though
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Knives Out 2’ Expected to Drop in Late 2022, Fall Festival Debut Likely (Exclusive)

‘Knives Out 2’ Expected to Drop in Late 2022, Fall Festival Debut Likely (Exclusive)
You can expect to see the next installment of Daniel Craig as Private Detective Benoit Blanc in “Knives Out 2” streaming on Netflix this fall. Variety has learned exclusively that writer and director Rian Johnson’s hotly-anticipated sequel is expected to release in theaters and the streaming platform in the last quarter of 2022.

In addition, the film is expected to also make a festival run before its release, although it’s unknown which ones it’s expected to debut at. With this added layer, we can expect the sequel to be a possible awards hopeful for Netflix next year. The streamer is expected to dominate the Oscar season once again this year, with Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Tick, Tick … Boom!” being heavy favorites to receive best picture attention.

Details surrounding the film are still under wraps,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ahsoka Tano Disney Plus Series Adds Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Ahsoka Tano Disney Plus Series Adds Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Mary Elizabeth Winstead has signed on for a role in the upcoming Ahsoka Tano live-action series at Disney Plus, Variety has confirmed.

Rosario Dawson is set to star in the title role in “Ahsoka,” whom she first played in Season 2 of “The Mandalorian.” It was previously reported that Natasha Liu Bordizzo would star as Sabine Wren and that Ivanna Sakhno would play what is believed to be a new “Star Wars” character in the series. Details on Winstead’s character are currently being kept under wraps.

Winstead’s recent feature credits include projects such as “Birds of Prey,” “Gemini Man,” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.” She has also starred in numerous TV shows in recent years, including Season 3 of “Fargo” at FX opposite “Star Wars” alum Ewan McGregor, who will reprise the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in his own Disney Plus series. Winstead has also starred in shows like “Mercy Street,
See full article at Variety »

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Welcome Baby Via Surrogate

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Welcome Baby Via Surrogate
Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are walking into their biggest roles yet: The two are parents!   The White Tiger actress announced the happy news in an Instagram post on Jan. 21. "We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate. We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family," concluding the post, "Thank you so much." Immediately after sharing the news, the happy couple received an endless amount of well wishes from friends and family. Nick's brother Kevin Jonas was one of the first to add a few heart emojis in celebration of the good news, while actress Lilly Singh was also one of the first to share words of support,...
See full article at E! Online »

‘Mission: Impossible 7’ and ‘8’ Postponed Until 2023 and 2024 Due to Pandemic

‘Mission: Impossible 7’ and ‘8’ Postponed Until 2023 and 2024 Due to Pandemic
Mission: Impossible” fans will have to wait a little longer to watch Ethan Hunt save the world from imminent destruction.

Paramount Pictures will delay the release of the next two films in the long-running spy series. “Mission: Impossible 7,” which was previously supposed to premiere on Sept. 30, will now debut on July 14, 2023. That means that “Mission: Impossible 8,” most recently intended to open on July 7, 2023, will instead shift to June 28, 2024.

The seventh film, which is co-produced by Skydance, was originally slated to open on July 23, 2021 and has been postponed multiple times as the public health situation has changed. The movie’s globe-trotting production has also been delayed due to Covid-19. “Mission: Impossible” films tend to be complex to shoot as they have many stunts and effects, with the filmmaking team trying to do as little green screen work as possible. They also often jet from one foreign port of call to another,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Louie Anderson, Emmy-Winning Comedian, Dies at 68

Louie Anderson, Emmy-Winning Comedian, Dies at 68
Louie Anderson, the iconic Emmy-winning comedian, actor and game show host, died Friday in Las Vegas after battling cancer, his publicist confirmed to Variety. He was 68.

A seasoned stand-up with a career spanning over three decades, Anderson broke through as a comedian in 1984 when he performed a set on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” From there, he performed a comedy special on Showtime in 1987, made regular TV appearances on late-night shows and appeared in movies such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in 1986 and “Coming to America” in 1988.

In 1995, Anderson produced, created and starred in the Fox original animated series “Life With Louie.” Like much of Anderson’s stand-up, “Life With Louie” was based heavily on his experiences growing up in Saint Paul, Minn., in a large family of 11 children. The comic voiced a fictionalized version of his eight-year-old self in the show, winning two Daytime Emmys for performer in an animated program.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Meat Loaf, ‘Bat Out of Hell’ Singer and Prolific Actor, Dies at 74

Meat Loaf, ‘Bat Out of Hell’ Singer and Prolific Actor, Dies at 74
Singer Meat Loaf, whose “Bat Out of Hell” album is among the best-selling and most enduring rock albums of the 1970s, died on Jan. 20 at the age of 74. A consummate performer, he also appeared as an actor in the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” as well as “Crazy Alabama,” “Fight Club” and “Wayne’s World,” among dozens more film and television credits.

Meat Loaf, whose real name is Marvin Lee Aday, won a 1994 Grammy Award for best solo rock vocal performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).”

A cause of death was not given. An official statement from the Meat Loaf Facebook page reads:

Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Kirsten Dunst to Star in Alex Garland’s Action Epic ‘Civil War’ at A24

  • Variety
Kirsten Dunst to Star in Alex Garland’s Action Epic ‘Civil War’ at A24
After teaming for Academy Award winner “Ex Machina” and the upcoming project “Men,” A24 has announced Alex Garland’s latest movie, “Civil War.”

Kirsten Dunst is set to star alongside Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Cailee Spaeny in the action film written and directed by Garland. Aside from the fact that the film is set in a near future America, plot details are being kept under wraps.

In 2016, Garland received an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay for “Ex Machina,” which also won an Oscar for achievement in visual effects. Garland followed the critically acclaimed movie with 2018’s “Annihilation” and the FX series “Devs.” His upcoming projects include “Men,” starring Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear, which A24 will release later this year.

A24 will handle the global release of the film and produce alongside Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich of DNA and Gregory Goodman. DNA previously teamed with Garland for “Ex Machina,
See full article at Variety »

‘A Christmas Story’ Sequel In The Works At Legendary And Warner Bros. With Peter Billingsley Set To Reprise Ralphie Role

‘A Christmas Story’ Sequel In The Works At Legendary And Warner Bros. With Peter Billingsley Set To Reprise Ralphie Role
While Christmas has come and gone, Legendary and Warner Bros. are looking to give a belated gift to us all as sources tell Deadline the two companies have closed a deal for Peter Billingsley to star in A Christmas Story Christmas, a sequel to the holiday classic A Christmas Story, which will premiere on HBO Max. While not confirmed, sources add Airplane star Julie Hagerty will play Billingsley’s mother. The script was written by Nick Schenk, who will also executive produce, and Clay Kaytis will direct. Billingsley will also produce along with his partner Vince Vaughn through their Wild West Picture Show productions. Cale Boyter and Jay Ashenfelter will oversee for Legendary. Production is set to start at the end of February in Bulgaria.

The film follows an adult Ralphie (Billingsley) in the 1970s, who returns to the house on Cleveland street to deliver his kids a magical Christmas
See full article at Deadline »

‘Nanny’ Review: An Immigrant Mother Separated From Her Child Fears the Worst

‘Nanny’ Review: An Immigrant Mother Separated From Her Child Fears the Worst
Aisha didn’t move to New York City to raise some other mother’s kids. She moved there with the intention of bringing her young son over from Senegal. In order to pay his way, however, Aisha must do as so many undocumented women have in the Big Apple: She must play mom to a stranger’s child, while a family member takes care of her own back home in Africa. In “Nanny,” debuting writer-director Nikyatu Jusu brings fresh eyes to this widely accepted dynamic, so rarely seen from the perspective of the immigrant worker herself.

Aisha is a strong and independent heroine, though it’s not easy to be assertive in a culture that expects subservience of outsiders. A confident first-time filmmaker who doesn’t shy away from the power of ambiguity and suggestion, Jusu draws on aspects of West African folklore, invoking such supernatural figures as Anansi the Spider,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance Winner Francisca Alegria Bows Feature Debut ‘The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future’ at Fest

Sundance Winner Francisca Alegria Bows Feature Debut ‘The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future’ at Fest
Five years after her lauded short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye” won Sundance’s short film jury award in international fiction, Chile’s Francisca Alegria is bowing her feature debut on Jan. 23 at the Park City, Utah, fest.

In “The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future,” Alegria continues to further expand the themes in her short. “I was exploring this in-between place, which exists beyond our physical senses. It’s where the subtle entities are, where our sensations live, where death appears,” she says. “I wanted to convey those spaces through the stories and themes that have been with me since childhood. I do feel that in the short film, these themes became more like symbols because I didn’t have time to develop and dig into the heart and bones of the matter.”

In the short, 85-year-old Emeteria is visited by
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Lunana’ Makes Long Trek to Oscars From Remote Corner of Bhutan

‘Lunana’ Makes Long Trek to Oscars From Remote Corner of Bhutan
Bhutan’s first Oscar entry in 23 years, Pawo Choyning Dorji’s feature debut “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” had an unusual journey before landing on the shortlist for Oscar international film.

The lushly lensed feature, with a plot revolving around the spiritual coming of age of a young man on a quest to find happiness far from home, was made on solar batteries and shot for three months in one of world’s most isolated human settlements with first-time actors and an amateur crew.

“It’s a very surreal journey, and for me it really validates the power of art and filmmaking, that if you put your heart into it, and share a story with the world, it can go from the remotest school in the world, all the way to the most prestigious stages of the world,” says Dorji. He is an author and photographer from Bhutan whose
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ian Alexander Jr., Musician and Son of Regina King, Dies by Suicide at 26

Ian Alexander Jr., Musician and Son of Regina King, Dies by Suicide at 26
Ian Alexander Jr., a musician, DJ and son of actress and director Regina King, has died by suicide. He was 26 years old.

Alexander’s death was confirmed to Variety by a public relations representative for King. No further details are available at this time.

“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”

Alexander was born on Jan. 19, 1996. He was King’s only child. She shared him with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. The pair divorced in 2007 after ten years of marriage.

Alexander was a practicing musician and DJ. Performing under the name Desduné, Alexander had been preparing to perform several shows in Los Angeles later this month. His most recent single,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Plaza Catedral,’ ‘Prayers for the Stolen’ Deal With Violence Inflicted Upon Youth in Latin America

‘Plaza Catedral,’ ‘Prayers for the Stolen’ Deal With Violence Inflicted Upon Youth in Latin America
Mexico’s Tatiana Huezo and Abner Benaim of Panama, whose respective dramas, “Prayers for the Stolen” and “Plaza Catedral,” made the coveted shortlist in the Oscars’ international feature category, have quite a few things in common. Both have mainly worked in documentary filmmaking, although in the case of Benaim, he made a hit comedy in 2009, “Chance,” before focusing on nonfiction films.

Neither are strangers to the Oscar experience. Benaim has represented Panama twice. With its first submission to the Oscars in 2014, an account of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, “Invasion,” and in 2018 with “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” which gets up close and personal with the actor, multi-Grammy winner and activist who also served as minister of tourism and ran for president of Panama.

Prayers for the Stolen” is Huezo’s first narrative feature and her second turn at representing Mexico, the first time was with her documentary
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance Doc ‘Aftershock’ Probes U.S. Maternal Health Crisis

Sundance Doc ‘Aftershock’ Probes U.S. Maternal Health Crisis
Black women, along with Native Americans and Alaska natives, are three times more likely to die before, during or after having a baby, and more than half of these deaths are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee take a deep dive into that statistic in their Sundance documentary “Aftershock.”

The film tells the story of two young black women who died due to childbirth complications that could have been prevented. Through interviews with bereaved fathers and mothers, birth-workers and physicians, Eiselt and Lewis Lee examine the maternal health crisis happening throughout the country. This marks Eiselt and Lewis Lee’s first time at Sundance as directors of a feature doc.

How long have you been working on this project?

Eiselt: Two years and it was a quick two years with a pandemic in the middle. We pushed through because of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Festivals Boost Contenders for Oscar International Film Race

Festivals Boost Contenders for Oscar International Film Race
If you wanted to name a winner from the Oscar international film shortlist right now, it would be the Cannes Film Festival. Nine of the 15 titles that made the cut came from the fest, even though the Palme d’Or winner, France’s submission “Titane,” did not. But then only those who were not paying attention to past trends in stage one voting assumed that it would be included.

Although a record 93 countries put forward an entry, only 15 are moving on. The ones selected for the shortlist come from almost every continent, although Africa, despite some exciting entries such as Somalia’s “The Gravedigger’s Wife,” Chad’s “Lingui: The Sacred Bonds” and Morocco’s “Casablanca Beats,” was ignored (all three titles premiered at Cannes).

Cannes players that are in the mix include Iran’s “A Hero,” helmed by previous Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi; Norway’s “The Worst Person in the World
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Shortlisted Oscar International Films Tackle Gender, Sexuality and Bullying

Shortlisted Oscar International Films Tackle Gender, Sexuality and Bullying
Years ago, you wouldn’t have looked to the international feature category — or foreign-language film, as it was more insularly named back then — for much in the way of reflecting the modern world. World War II history and heartwarming child’s-eye family portraits were for a long time the staple diet of an award that shied away from more nervy topics. This year’s shortlist, however, sees a number of global filmmakers tackling more resonant, contemporary subject matter — with matters of gender and sexuality woven through a number of them.

Germany’s entry, “I’m Your Man,” even strays into science fiction, a genre rarely given much attention in this category. Maria Schrader’s witty, philosophical romantic comedy begins as a battle of wills between Alma (Maren Eggert), an independent, career-oriented academic, and Tom (Dan Stevens), the android boyfriend tailored directly for her needs in a lab — though it seems he
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Maricel Soriano Cast in Rain Valdez Rom-Com ‘Re-Live’ (Exclusive)

Maricel Soriano Cast in Rain Valdez Rom-Com ‘Re-Live’ (Exclusive)
Maricel Soriano will star in Rain Valdez’s upcoming trans-led romantic comedy “Re-Live: A Tale of an American Island Cheerleader,” Variety has learned exclusively. As previously reported, “Re-Live” co-writers Rachel Leyco and Valdez star as sisters Rochelle and Rowena, respectively. Soriano will play their mother, Thelma. Jhett Tolentino (“Lingua Franca”) will executive produce in association with Shant Joshi’s Fae Pictures.

“Re-Live” tells the story of Rowena, a transgender movie star who returns to her home in Guam for her high school reunion’s “do-over week.” Rowena’s plan to live out her childhood dream of being a cheerleader falters when her mother’s cancer begins to worsen, and she learns to value the family she left behind. The film marks Valdez’s feature directorial debut.

“Having a legendary Filipino actress like Maricel Soriano strengthens our commitment to telling our stories from our authentic experiences and for our Filipinx diaspora,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Speak No Evil’ Review: A Queasily Effective Danish Horror Film on the Discomfort of Strangers

‘Speak No Evil’ Review: A Queasily Effective Danish Horror Film on the Discomfort of Strangers
The fear of seemingly harmless strangers that’s heightened during our era of online “relationships” (not to mention Covid) is cannily exploited in actor-turned-writer-director Christian Tafdrup’s “Speak No Evil.” Building on the thorny couple dynamics of his prior features “Parents” and “A Horrible Woman,” this excruciatingly.

Tafdrup’s squirm-inducing tale is premiering in Sundance’s Midnight section, and should find ready berth among genre fans, with strong potential for remake bids. (Distribution rights have already been secured by horror streaming service Shudder.) At the same time, its all-too-palpable cruelty will repel some viewers, in the same way such prior atypical horrors as the original “Wolf Creek” and both editions of “Funny Games” did.

A grim final destination is all the more upsetting because the over-the-top melodrama of Sune Kolst’s orchestral score, applied straightaway to a simple opening shot of a car driving down a road at night, suggests
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Watcher’ Review: Maika Monroe Makes a Fine Modern Everywoman in an Eerie Throwback Thriller

‘Watcher’ Review: Maika Monroe Makes a Fine Modern Everywoman in an Eerie Throwback Thriller
If the camera lingered just a little more lasciviously on the opening sex scene, or if we got to ogle the bondage-clad ladies writhing in their glass booths in the underground strip club sequence longer, Chloe Okuno’s smart little feature debut might be said to herald the longed-for return of the lost, lamented erotic thriller. Without that skeevy edge, into an understatedly stylish commentary on modern womanhood, #NotAllMen and the latest incarnation of the concept of gaslighting.

There’s a little bit of “Repulsion” here, a dash of “Rear Window,” obviously, and an airy nod to “Lost in Translation,” but mostly “Watcher” plays in a less exalted sandbox. Its most overt homage is to 1993’s “Sliver,” with the key disclaimer that “Sliver,” already a terrible movie, would without the hilarious sex stuff be borderline unwatchable, and “Watcher” is actually pretty damn good. That’s thanks in large part to a terrific Maika Monroe,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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