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Naomi Watts to Star in Jason Blum-Produced Quibi Series ‘Wolves and Villagers’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Naomi Watts to Star in Jason Blum-Produced Quibi Series ‘Wolves and Villagers’ (Exclusive)
Naomi Watts has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming Quibi series “Wolves and Villagers,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The exact plot of the short-form series is being kept under wraps, but Quibi co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg has previously described the show as “Fatal Attraction 2.0.” Jason Blum is executive producing the series, with Stuart Blumberg writing and executive producing.

This marks the latest TV project for Watts. She was recently cast in a major role in the “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot at HBO, and signed on to play Gretchen Carlson in the Roger Ailes limited series currently in the works at Showtime. She previously appeared in Showtime’s revival of “Twin Peaks.”

Watts is also known for her roles in films like “Mulholland Drive,” “I Heart Huckabees,” “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” “St. Vincent,” “The Ring,” “King Kong, and “J. Edgar.” She earned Academy Award nominations
See full article at Variety »

'Glass' Ready to Crack Open a $50+ Million Holiday Debut

'Glass' Ready to Crack Open a $50+ Million Holiday Debut
After just two weeks, 2019 has already had some notable highlights, including the surprise $20 million debut of The Upside last weekend while WB's Aquaman became the first film in the DC Extended Universe to top $1 billion at the global box office. Now, this weekend is looking to M. Night Shyamalan's Glass to deliver the second largest January and Martin Luther King Jr. openings ever behind only American Sniper. Universal's release of Glass is the highly anticipated third film in M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable franchise, following the runaway success of 2017's Split, which opened with a massive $40 million en route to a $138.3 million domestic run and nearly $280 million globally. The film brings together stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and James McAvoy, and is set to open in 3,841 locations with the studio anticipating a $50 million opening over the film's first four days. Based on the information we're looking at
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

‘Kominsky Method’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

  • Variety
‘Kominsky Method’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix
Netflix has picked up “The Kominsky Method” for a second season.

The comedy stars starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin recently won two Golden Globe Awards, one for best comedy series and the other for Douglas in the best actor in a comedy series category. Arkin was also nominated in the supporting actor category.

Season 2 will consist of eight half-hour episodes and is scheduled to begin production later this month in Los Angeles. Douglas and Arkin will return as series regulars along with Sarah Baker and Nancy Travis.

The show follows actor and acting coach Sandy Kominsky (Douglas) and his agent Norman Newlander (Arkin), two friends trying to navigate their later years in Los Angeles, a city that values youth and beauty.

Chuck Lorre created the series and serves as executive producer along with Al Higgins and Douglas. Chuck Lorre Productions produces in association with Warner Bros. Television.

“I wanted
See full article at Variety »

J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic With Nicholas Hoult Gets Summer 2019 Release Date

J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic With Nicholas Hoult Gets Summer 2019 Release Date
Fox Searchlight has set a summer release date for “Tolkien,” the biopic on “The Lord of the Rings” author J.R.R. Tolkien.

The film starring Nicholas Hoult as the fantasy author will open on May 10, 2019.

Directed by Dome Karukoski, “Tolkien” explores the formative years of the orphaned author as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school. This takes him into the outbreak of World War I, which threatens to tear the “Fellowship” apart. All of these experiences would inspire Tolkien to write his famous Middle-Earth novel.

Also Read: New Jrr Tolkien Story Hits Shelves a Century After It Was Written

The full cast has also been revealed, including Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson, Tom Glynn-Carney, Craig Roberts, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O’Reilly, Pam Ferris and Derek Jacobi.

David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford wrote the screenplay. Peter Chernin is producing on
See full article at The Wrap »

"Vikings" Alum Travis Fimmel Among 10 Cast in TNT Drama "Raised by Wolves"

TNT has set 10 cast members for the Ridley Scott-produced drama “Raised by Wolves.”

The show, which was ordered straight-to-series in October, centers on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.

The cast includes:

Amanda Collin will play Mother, an android with a secret past who has been programmed to raise a brood of human children on a faraway planet. In addition to teaching her children to survive,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Kevin Hart to Star in ‘Monopoly’ Movie for Lionsgate, Hasbro

Kevin Hart to Star in ‘Monopoly’ Movie for Lionsgate, Hasbro
Kevin Hart isn’t hosting the Oscars, but he will be putting on a top hat and tuxedo very soon.

Hart is in final negotiations to star in Lionsgate’s and Hasbro’s movie based on the board game “Monopoly,” and Tim Story, Hart’s longtime collaborator on “Ride Along” and other stand-up specials, is in final negotiations to direct, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Hart will also produce through his HartBeat Productions label. HartBeat’s John Cheng will also produce and HartBeat’s Carli Haney will oversee with John Cheng. Story will produce as well through his The Story Company banner. Sharla Sumpter Bridgett, President of The Story Company, will also produce.

The logline is under wraps, but the film is inspired by Hasbro’s popular board game franchise. Hasbro
See full article at The Wrap »

Peter Sarsgaard to Star in CBS All Access True-Crime Drama ‘Interrogation’

  • The Wrap
Peter Sarsgaard to Star in CBS All Access True-Crime Drama ‘Interrogation’
Peter Sarsgaard will star in “Interrogation,” CBS All Access’s true-crime drama.

Co-created by Anders Weidemann and John Mankiewicz, “Interrogation” is based on a true story that spanned more than 30 years, in which a young man was charged and convicted of brutally murdering his mother. Each episode is structured around an interrogation taken directly from the real police case files. The first nine episodes of the series will be available to watch in any order, with the conclusive season finale to be released at a later date.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Invisibles’ Director Louis-Julien Petit on his Socially-Minded Smash

‘Invisibles’ Director Louis-Julien Petit on his Socially-Minded Smash
Paris — Far from a dumping ground, the months of January and February have become synonymous in France with the kinds of highly polished crowd-pleasing comedies that dominate the annual box-office.

This year is no exception, only nestled among the likely blockbusters “Serial Bad Weddings 2” and “City Hunter” is Louis-Julien Petit’s socially minded dramedy “Invisibles.” The story of a group of social workers fighting to keep a woman’s homeless shelter from closing, the film has opened to significant box-office numbers in these early weeks of year, and that’s no accident of timing.

Petit took inspiration from author-filmmaker Claire Lajeunie’s documentary and book about France’s invisible women and built a crowd-pleasing comedy around the subject. Produced by French shingle Elemiah and being sold by Charades, the film mixes well-known comedic stars like Audrey Lamy and Noémie Lvovsky with several non-professional actresses, a number of whom also appeared in the original doc.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Alibaba Pictures Buys Into Chinese Director Han Han’s Film Studio

Alibaba Pictures has invested an undisclosed amount in Chinese celebrity blogger-turned film director Han Han’s Shanghai Tingdong Film, it confirmed to Variety Thursday. Han’s upcoming “Pegasus” is one of the most anticipated films of the year.

Alibaba Pictures, part of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is now the second-largest stakeholder in Tingdong. It has a 13.1% stake, according to Chinese finance publication Caixin.

The deal is a “long-term strategic partnership that covers content production, distribution and marketing, merchandise and artist management,” Alibaba told Variety. It falls under the umbrella of a new initiative launched in November called the “Jin Cheng Co-Production Plan” — with “jin cheng” roughly translating in English to “golden orange.”

Under this plan, Alibaba intends to co-produce 20 films over the next five years with various top production teams. The films will be released during at the four busiest movie-going times of each year: the Chinese Lunar New Year, summer,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Nicolas Philibert: ‘A Director Driven To Make A Statement Cannot Make Cinema’

Nicolas Philibert: ‘A Director Driven To Make A Statement Cannot Make Cinema’
Paris — For over two decades, French documentarian Nicolas Philibert has examined his country’s various public institutions with a watchmaker’s calm and anthropologist’s curiosity.

In films like “To Be and To Have,” “La Maison de la Radio” and “Louvre City,” he’s taken his camera into schoolhouses, broadcast hubs and the world’s most famous museum. His latest film, “Each and Every Moment” takes a look at his country’s healthcare system, following a group of nursing students as they undertake their first on-the-job training.

With Doc & Film International handling worldwide sales, the film plays UniFrance’s Rendez-Vous With French Cinema on Friday Jan. 18.

How has the documentary landscape evolved throughout the course of your career?

The documentary landscape has greatly changed in recent years. In France, there are now more documentaries playing in theaters than ever before. There seems to be one or two every week, which
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Don’t Come Back from the Moon’

Cinematographer-turned-director Bruce Thierry Cheung offers an artful and affecting mix of harshly defined specifics and impressionistic storytelling in “Don’t Come Back from the Moon,” a cumulatively poignant drama about absent fathers and abandoned families in an economically devastated desert community. Structured more like a tone poem than a conventional narrative, it’s an elliptical memory play set in some fuzzily defined yesterday — judging from the appliances and automobiles, maybe 20 or so years ago. At the same time, it also evokes a sense of bleak devastation that suggests a futuristic tale of survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

Such stylization seems altogether appropriate for a film that, at heart, really is a story about the aftermath of a disaster.

“Don’t Come Back from the Moon” is based on a novel by Dean Bakopoulos (who collaborated in adapting the screenplay with Cheung) that was set in a declining Rust Belt town
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Palm Springs Review: ‘Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire’

Though he passed away three decades ago, Carlos Almaraz’s reputation as a major American painter — which was just getting started when he died of AIDS in 1989 — promises to continue to gain traction with the years. Documentary tribute “Playing With Fire” by his fellow-artist widow Elsa Flores and Richard Montoya mostly transcends standard artist-appreciation terrain by virtue of a diverse, colorful and energetic package that amplifies the subject’s own aesthetic. The film would seem a natural fit for artscasters and other programmers, particularly those in search of Latino cultural relevance. Input from surviving admirers and friends like Edward James Olmos and Cheech Marin lend a certain marquee value.

After a somewhat conventional introduction, the movie gears up to present Almaraz’s life story in terms that are as busy, antic and assimilative as his art. Born in 1941 in Mexico City, he moved with his family as a child to the industrial midwest,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano’s ‘The Specials’ Already a Gaumont Sales Hit (Exclusive)

Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano’s ‘The Specials’ Already a Gaumont Sales Hit (Exclusive)
Following the widely successful “C’est La Vie,” Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s (“The Intouchables”) passion project “The Specials” (“Hors normes”) starring Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb, has already lured major buyers in key territories.

Gaumont, which delivered the largest number of French B.O. hits overseas in 2018, has pre-sold “The Specials” to Germany, Austria (Prokino), Greece (Seven), Italy (Videa), Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands (Cineart), Portugal (Lusomundo), Spain (A Contracorriente), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Israel (Lev), Canada, (MK2 Mile), Scandinavia (Scanbox), China (E Star), Taiwan (Moviecloud), Abania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro (McF Megacom) Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania (Mauris Films) and Poland (Kino Swiat).

The Specials” is an uplifting drama about the true story of Stephane Benhamou and Daoud Tatou, two friends from different religious faiths who, 20 years ago, created a pair of non-profit organizations for children with severe autism.

Toledano and Nakache are best-known for directing “The Intouchables,” which scored $450 million worldwide.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Verizon Plans Multiple Ad Plays Leading to Super Bowl Commercial

If Verizon gets its way, its Super Bowl advertising plans will include a 60-second commercial during the game – and a half-hour documentary that gives viewers even more of what will be discussed in the ad.

The telecommunications giant is often scrutinized for the communications resources it provides its customers, but its Super Bowl campaign will highlight service of a different kind. The campaign kicks off Sunday with a 60-second TV ad that airs during the NFL’s Afc and Nfc championship game, and tells stories of 12 NFL stars – one coach and 11 players – who were rescued from car accident, natural disasters,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Palm Springs Review: ‘The Realm’

Palm Springs Review: ‘The Realm’
The notion that government is one big con directing money into already well-lined pockets is confirmed and then some in “The Realm.” Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “Michael Clayton”-like thriller has struck a chord in Spain, where the persistence of corruption in the post-Franco era is a popular topic bordering on obsession. But are examples of corruption just a matter of a few bad apples or the tip of a vast conspiratorial iceberg?

Sorogoyen (“Stockholm”) and co-writer Isabel Pena (also his collaborator on “May God Save Us”) definitely favor the second scenario, and that bleak verdict has resonated in Spain — “The Realm” is dominating this year’s Goya race, with 13 nominations. It’s unlikely the film will resonate as well offshore, as some viewers may be confused by a narrative that assumes familiarity with Spanish political and economic systems; moreover, the movie is not the “ripped from headlines” true story it often feels like.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Mariah Carey Lawsuit: Ex-Assistant Says She Was Peed on While Working for Singer

  • The Wrap
Mariah Carey Lawsuit: Ex-Assistant Says She Was Peed on While Working for Singer
Mariah Carey and her former assistant Lianna Shakhnazaryan are suing one another in separate lawsuits, with Carey accusing Shakhnazaryan of attempted extortion via something similar to a revenge porn scheme. Shakhnazaryan, meanwhile, accuses Carey of racist comments, physical abuse, and urinating on her.

In lawsuits filed Wednesday in Los Angeles and New York City courts, Carey says that Shakhnazaryan secretly recorded her in “intimate moments” and showed the footage to other people without her consent. Later, her suit says, Shakhnazaryan told an acquaintance if Carey fired her she would sell the video in retaliation, has consistently refused to return the ill-gotten footage, and tried to extort $8 million from Carey using the footage as leverage. The singer also accuses Shakhnazaryan of stealing her credit cards to make personal purchases.

Carey is seeking the return and destruction of the footage, an injunction against Shakhnazaryan to prevent her from selling the footage, and punitive and compensatory damages.
See full article at The Wrap »

Robert Redford Set for Honor at France's Cesar Awards

Robert Redford Set for Honor at France's Cesar Awards
Old Man and the Gun actor Robert Redford has said his latest film will be his last, and he is set to cap off his legendary career receiving a special honor from the French Academy at this year's Cesar awards.

“Many of his films, in front of or behind the camera, are now classics. Few careers have had such an impact on the history of cinema,” said Academy president Alain Terzian, calling Redford's acceptance of the honor “an immense privilege.”

Redford received an honorary Oscar in 2002, won a best director statue for Ordinary People in ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

See Ariana Grande Indulge in Decadent Party in New ‘7 Rings’ Video

See Ariana Grande Indulge in Decadent Party in New ‘7 Rings’ Video
Ariana Grande and her female posse indulge in the good life in her new “7 Rings” video. The song will appear on her forthcoming Thank U, Next LP.

In the Hannah Lux Davis-directed clip, Grande opens the song with a sing-song riff on the Sound of Music classic, “My Favorite Things.” In Grande’s rendition, her crew’s faves include diamonds, bubbly and breakfast at Tiffany’s. “Who woulda thought it’d turn me into a savage/Rather be tied up with calls and not strings,” she sings. “Write my
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Palm Springs Reviews: ‘Fig Tree’

Palm Springs Reviews: ‘Fig Tree’
It’s a question integral to much of the current international immigration debate: When war breaks out, who gets to flee and who’s left with nowhere to run? As a child, writer-director Aalam-Warqe Davidian was among a majority of Ethiopian Jews who emigrated to Israel. In her loosely autobiographical feature debut, a teenager facing similar circumstances — an escape to safety amid the nation’s civl war — becomes frantic with worry over loved ones who may not have the option of flight.

Like the deceptive calm before a gathering storm, and with elements of lyricism and typical adolescent coming-of-age intrigue, “Fig Tree” is a fine drama whose seemingly casual progress only heightens its ultimate impact. The universal appeal of this Israeli and European co-production figures to earn it the kind of arthouse exposure too seldom enjoyed by African features.

Judaism has existed in what is now Ethiopia perhaps as far back as the fourth century,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

China's Biggest Movie Ticketing App Maoyan to Raise $345M in Ipo

Maoyan Entertainment, China’s largest movie ticketing app, is seeking to raise as much as $345 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering.

The Beijing-based company, which counts internet giant Tencent as its second-biggest shareholder, is offering 132.4 million shares at $1.89 (Hk$14.80) to $2.60 (Hk$20.40) apiece, according to terms for the deal obtained by the South China Morning Post and Bloomberg on Friday.

Imax China, the Hong Kong-based regional subsidiary of the Canadian giant screen exhibitor, has already agreed to step in as a cornerstone investor with the purchase of $15 million in stock.

Maoyan'...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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