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"The Lord of the Rings" TV Series: Explore Amazon’s Map of Middle-earth Here

  • The Wrap
Amazon has released one map to rule them all.

The official Twitter account for Prime Video’s upcoming “The Lord of the Rings” TV series shared a link to a map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth on Friday morning.

And seeing as this map appears to tease what the world in Amazon’s small-screen adaptation of the franchise looks like, it’s definitely giving “LOTR” fans enough material to obsess over all weekend long.

Details about Amazon’s “LOTR” series — which first announced in November 2017 and is being developed by “Star Trek 4” duo JD Payne and Patrick McKay — are still scarce. But we do know the show is set in Middle-earth and will explore stories that precede the events of Tolkein’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Amazon Studios
See full article at The Wrap »

Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Dominates Valentine’s Day

Box Office: ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Dominates Valentine’s Day
Alita: Battle Angel” dominated North American moviegoing on Valentine’s Day with a first-day launch of $8.7 million at 3,790 locations, including previews.

Fox’s science-fiction actioner, produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, is expected to wind up in the $37 million range during its first five days of release through Presidents Day on Monday. That’s above recent forecasts, which had pegged “Alita” for a $30 million debut.

Alita: Battle Angel” is a costly bet for Fox, given its $170 million production budget. Rosa Salazar stars as a cyborg with a mysterious past. The film, based on popular Japanese manga, had a solid start overseas last weekend, where it earned $32 million from 11 international territories.

New Line’s “Isn’t It Romantic” pulled in $4.4 million on Valentine’s Day for a two-day total of $6.2 million at 3,444 sites. Rebel Wilson’s satirical comedy, which opened on Wednesday, should wind up with around $20 million
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Jason Momoa in Talks to Join Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’

  • The Wrap
Jason Momoa in Talks to Join Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’
Jason Momoa is in talks with Legendary to join the cast of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune,” individuals with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap.

The adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 classic novel has been loading up on big names in recent months. Timothee Chalamet is set to star alongside Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin.

Set in the distant future, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides, played by Chalamet, whose family accepts control of Arrakis, a planet that is the only known producer of a highly coveted resource and is thus contested among several elite families. After Paul and his family are betrayed, he must lead a rebellion to restore his family’s control of Arrakis.
See full article at The Wrap »

Arrests In Jussie Smollett Attack; Chicago PD Says No Charges, Yet

  • Deadline
Arrests In Jussie Smollett Attack; Chicago PD Says No Charges, Yet
Breaking: Two persons of interest in the January 29 assault on Jussie Smollett have become a lot more interesting to the Chicago Police.

After being question at length yesterday, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo are now in custody.

“We can confirm that they have been arrested but they have not been charged,” Chicago PD Pio News Affairs official Sally Born told Deadline today.

At least one of the brothers, who were picked up returning to Chicago at O’Hare International Airport on Thursday, has appeared as an extra on the Windy City filmed Lee Daniels and Danny Strong co-created series.

“Victim” Smollett is “continuing to cooperate” with the investigation, a police source told Deadline, adding that the brothers did know the actor, though how well is unclear at present.

This latest twist in the attack on the Empire star also comes one day after local media were scolded by police for “unconfirmed
See full article at Deadline »

Sebastian Stan Replaces Chris Evans in . . . ‘The Devil All the Time’ for Netflix

Sebastian Stan Replaces Chris Evans in . . . ‘The Devil All the Time’ for Netflix
In what could be the first instance of a mini-trend, Sebastian Stan is stepping into the shoes of his MCU pal Chris Evans. For those hoping for Marvel news, that day is not today. Stan is actually replacing Evans in Antonio Campos‘ next film, “The Devil All the Time,” as a result of schedule conflicts.
See full article at The Playlist »

"Cosmos" Season 2 Premiere Officially Pushed By Fox Amid Neil deGrasse Tyson Investigation

  • Deadline
Fox has made it official — the second season of science docuseries Cosmos won’t premiere on March 3 as previously announced because of the ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against host Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The network just released listings for March 3-10. In them, Cosmos is replaced by Family Guy repeats in the Sunday 9:30 Pm slot on both March 3 and March 10.

As we reported last week, Fox and National Geographic were expected to postpone the Season 2 premiere, which had been set long before multiple new accusations against the famous astrophysicist/TV personality in late November prompted Fox, Nat Geo and the series producers to launch an investigation. The investigation is still ongoing, and the networks reportedly want it to be completed before making a decision.

“The credo at the heart of Cosmos is to follow the evidence wherever it leads,” the show’s producers said in a statement to Deadline in November.
See full article at Deadline »

‘Transformers’ Origin Story Set at Netflix as Animated Series

  • The Wrap
‘Transformers’ Origin Story Set at Netflix as Animated Series
Netflix and Hasbro have partnered to bring a brand new “Transformers” origin story to the small screen.

The animated show, “Transformers: War for Cybertron,” will launch in 2020 with “a new animation look and style that presents the Transformers like you’ve never seen them before.”

Transformers” vet F.J. DeSanto will serve as showrunner on the series. Contributing writers include George Krstic (“Megas XLR”), Gavin Hignight (“Transformers: Cyberverse”), and Brandon Easton.

“In this ‘Transformers’ origin story, we will explore the expansive universe of Cybertron in a way that audiences have never seen before – to the delight of both existing fans and those coming to the franchise for the first time,” John Derderian, director of Anime for Netflix, said. “The Transformers brand is a global phenomenon and we are thrilled to partner with Hasbro,
See full article at The Wrap »

Jussie Smollett Case: Chicago Police Arrest Two Suspects

Jussie Smollett Case: Chicago Police Arrest Two Suspects
Chicago police confirmed on Friday that they have arrested two suspects in the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

The police did not state what charges the men are being held on. Local media have identified the men as two brothers from Nigeria, though law enforcement has not confirmed their identities.

Smollett’s representatives have declined to say whether he has identified the men as his attackers.

An attorney for the men, Gloria Schmidt, told CBS Chicago on Thursday that the men know Smollett from working on the Fox show. She denied that they had assaulted Smollett.

Smollett told police on Jan.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Cosmos’ Season 2 to Miss March Premiere Date as Neil deGrasse Tyson Investigation Continues

‘Cosmos’ Season 2 to Miss March Premiere Date as Neil deGrasse Tyson Investigation Continues
The second season of “Cosmos” will not air in March as planned.

The nonfiction series hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was set to air on March 3 on Fox and National Geographic. But according to listings sent out by Fox on Friday, reruns of “Family Guy” will now air in the timeslot intended for the series.

The news comes after Tyson was accused of sexual misconduct by two women in November. Dr. Katelyn N. Allers of Bucknell University claimed deGrasse Tyson groped her at an event in 2009. Another woman, Ashley Watson, claimed that she quit her former job as Tyson
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Two Suspects in Jussie Smollett Case Under Arrest, Chicago Police Say

  • The Wrap
Two Suspects in Jussie Smollett Case Under Arrest, Chicago Police Say
Two “potential suspects” brought in for questioning in the investigation of an attack on “Empire” star Jussie Smollett have been placed under arrest, Chicago police said Friday.

Police provided no further details, including specific charges or whether the two were the same two men who were taken into custody as “persons of interest” by Chicago police on Wednesday night.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday those men, reportedly two brothers of Nigerian descent who appeared as extras on “Empire,” were not considered suspects at the time. Gloria Schmidt, the attorney representing the two men did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Also Read: Fox Says Jussie Smollett Staying on 'Empire'; Chicago Pd Rejects Hoax Reports

Smollett was hospitalized on Jan. 29, saying two men approached him on the streets of Chicago and beat him while shouting racist and homophobic slurs and referencing “Maga.” According to a police statement,
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Taxing the Rich’ Is Not Going Away Anytime Soon

‘Taxing the Rich’ Is Not Going Away Anytime Soon
Bernie Sanders, a likely 2020 contender, has unveiled a plan to tax the estates of multi-millionaires and billionaires at a rate as high as 77 percent. And despite decades of Gop efforts to scare the public about the so-called “death tax,” Sanders’ proposal is a hit with voters.

Half of Americans approve of the plan, according to a new Morning Consult poll, compared with just 29 percent who oppose it. The findings align with recent polls that have found majorities support plans by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-ny) to tax income over $10 million a year at 70 percent,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Cosmos’ Season 2 Premiere Pulled From March 3 Schedule by Fox

  • The Wrap
Fox has pulled the Season 2 premiere of “Cosmos” from its originally-scheduled March 3 premiere, amid an ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct accusations leveled against host Neil deGrasse Tyson, TheWrap has learned.

In what was formerly its 9 p.m. time slot, the broadcaster will now air a new episode of “Family Guy,” followed by a repeat.

However, Fox’s decision to pull “Cosmos’s” second season — a followup to 2014’s “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” dubbed “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” — debut is not exactly a surprise.

Also Read: 'Cosmos' Season 2: Fox, Nat Geo Expect Delays as Neil deGrasse Tyson Investigation Continues

As TheWrap previously reported, the series was not expected to make its previously-announced return date because of the ongoing investigation into Tyson at Fox and Nat Geo, both of which air the series. There is currently no update on the investigation itself, an individual familiar with the situation tells TheWrap.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Isle of Dogs’ Called for a Thousand Sophisticated Puppets

Andy Gent says it was clear as soon as he read Wes Anderson’s script for “Isle of Dogs” that the project was very ambitious. It just took a while to understand exactly how ambitious.

For example, it was originally estimated the animated movie would require between 300 and 400 puppets, the same number needed for Anderson’s previous stop-motion feature, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” But giving the movie the scale and look Anderson wanted quickly inflated that number to more than 1,100.

”He pushes you to levels that are amazing levels,” says Gent, who was head of the puppet department on both “Isle of Dogs” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” “Out of that push to do something new, new things would eventually pop out and they could be very happy accidents.”

Anderson wanted his canines to have a bit of humanity in their faces, but aside from more expressive eyes and the ability to talk,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How ‘Black Panther’ Designers Hannah Beachler and Ruth E Carter Built Wakanda With ‘a Root in Africa and Functionality’

  • The Wrap
How ‘Black Panther’ Designers Hannah Beachler and Ruth E Carter Built Wakanda With ‘a Root in Africa and Functionality’
A version of this story about Hannah Beachler and Ruth E. Carter appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

When it was released last year, “Black Panther” earned worldwide acclaim for assembling the most talented cast of black actors ever seen in a blockbuster. It was hailed as a game-changer for Hollywood diversity, and the trend-setting on Ryan Coogler’s Marvel film was being made behind the camera as well.

“It felt like the next phase in inclusiveness, having not just people of color in charge of departments but women of color,” said costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who with her third nomination is now tied with Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as the most-nominated African-American woman in Oscar history. (Her previous nods came for 1992’s “Malcolm X” and 1997’s “Amistad.”)

“Sometimes it’s hard to change people’s mindset,” Carter said. “Women still
See full article at The Wrap »

Qatar’s beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders.

The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster beoutQ, which sprang up in 2017 shortly after Saudi Arabia banned beIN amid a bitter diplomatic standoff with Qatar. BeIN alleges that beoutQ steals feeds of live sports events and films, and beams the content illegally to users in the Middle East and beyond. The content includes soccer matches,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

International Cinema Group Urges Festivals to Ban Non-Theatrically Released Films From Competition

With the Berlin Film Festival about to wrap and Cannes fast approaching, the International Union of Cinemas (Unic) is urging programmers at leading festivals to select for competition only films that will receive a full theatrical release.

Unic, which represents exhibitors and cinema associations in 37 countries, mostly in Europe, said in a statement Friday that it expects leading film festivals to “ensure that all selected films observe established industry norms – including a full and genuine theatrical release.” The organization added: “We can’t imagine that festivals propose programs just for a small number of subscribers of specific streaming platforms, privatizing both the audience and the films themselves.”

Unic did not name particular platforms such as Netflix or Amazon. But the organization’s statement came amid the Berlin Film Festival, which sparked anger among German exhibitors over the inclusion of a Netflix film, “Elisa y Marcela,” in competition. It marks the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

NBC Expands Scripted Leadership Team With New Hire, Promotions

NBC’s scripted network executive team is getting a little bigger.

The company has brought on former Warner Horizon Television exec Lisa Roos as its new senior vice president of drama development. NBC also promoted programming exec Deepak Jesrani to senior VP of drama development and elevated Mike Nunes to senior VP of current programming.

“This team has been responsible for some of the most beloved shows on television, and we are so happy to recognize Deepak and Mike’s talent, dedication and significant contributions to our programming,” said Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta, NBC Entertainment’s co-presidents of scripted programming,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

See Trisha Yearwood Sing New ‘For the Last Time’ on ‘Today’

See Trisha Yearwood Sing New ‘For the Last Time’ on ‘Today’
Trisha Yearwood spent the early hours of Valentine’s Day in New York, appearing on the Today show alongside hosts Hoda Kotb and Carson Daly. The singer, whose Frank Sinatra tribute LP Let’s Be Frank goes into wide release today, performed “For the Last Time,” an original song on the album of vocal pop standards.

Before Yearwood’s emotional performance of the song, Kotb read an early-morning Twitter post from Yearwood’s husband, Garth Brooks, who tweeted in part, “Her voice on this song will make Anyone fall in love.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Ready Player One’ Integrated Familiar and New Characters for Spielberg’s Take

‘Ready Player One’ Integrated Familiar and New Characters for Spielberg’s Take
In helmer Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One,” a vast group of familiar characters and those created for the film had to be integrated into one story and some had to travel between two worlds. Visual-effects supervisor Roger Guyett knew he’d be working with multiple styles and sources to pull it off.

Original characters including the robot from “The Iron Giant” would have to be sourced and then brought into the world that Spielberg wanted to create for the film. Guyett, who also worked with the helmer on “Saving Private Ryan,” went about gathering information about these classic characters from many different places. Sometimes he would be given concept art, a 3D model or other designs. Overall, he had his pick of the best versions of those characters that were still available since their original creators wanted the designs to be as similar to the original creatures as possible
See full article at Variety - Film News »

In ‘Stan & Ollie,’ Makeup Magic Transformed John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan Into Iconic Duo

In ‘Stan & Ollie,’ Makeup Magic Transformed John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan Into Iconic Duo
The second Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly appear onscreen in “Stan & Ollie,” there is no question that they are the legendary Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, respectively. The physical transformations masterminded by prosthetic makeup designer Mark Coulier and makeup and hair designer Jeremy Woodhead are that remarkable, enabling the actors to fully inhabit their roles.

Surprisingly, Coulier and Woodhead were not recognized with Oscar nominations for their standout work on the film, which explores the latter years of the comedy duo’s career, though they did nab two nominations from the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild’s sixth annual awards —one for period and/or character make-up and another for special make-up effects.

A huge fan of Laurel and Hardy, Coulier, who has been honored with Academy Awards for his work on “The Iron Lady” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” tells Variety that he couldn’t turn
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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