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Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller ‘Hell on the Border’

  • Variety
Frank Grillo to Star in the Thriller ‘Hell on the Border’
Frank Grillo is set to star in the action-thriller “Hell on the Border” with Wes Miller directing.

Miller also penned the script with Curtis Nichouls, Henry Penzi, and Sasha Yelaun producing. Ron Perlman is also on board to co-star.

Plot details are unknown at this time. Production is currently underway in Birmingham, Ala.

Grillo has a slew of projects set to bow in 2019, starting with the thriller “Donnybrook,” which also stars Jamie Bell and Margaret Qualley and opened at the Toronto Film Festival. It premieres in theaters on Feb. 15.

He will follow that up with the thriller “Boss Level” opposite Mel Gibson and Naomi Watts, which Grillo produced with his production company War Party.

Grillo’s “Point Blank” premieres later this year on Netflix
See full article at Variety »

NBC Orders Comedy Pilots ‘Saving Kenan’ and ‘Like Magic’

  • Variety
NBC Orders Comedy Pilots ‘Saving Kenan’ and ‘Like Magic’
NBC has ordered comedies “Saving Kenan” and “Like Magic” to pilot.

“Saving Kenan” is a single-camera comedy starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Kenan Thompson as a “newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives.”

Jackie Clarke will serve as writer and executive producer. Thompson, Lorne Michaels, and Andrew Singer are on board as executive producers. Michaels’ Broadway Video is the production company behind the show.

Thompson is represented by UTA, Michael Goldman and Del Shaw. Clarke is represented by UTA and Felker Toczek. Broadway Video is repped by CAA.

Meanwhile, “Like Magic” is billed as a workplace comedy that “follows an optimistic young woman pursuing her dream to be a headlining magician in the eccentric and ego-driven world of the Magic Palace.”

Bridget Kyle and Vicky Luu will write and executive produce the single-camera comedy.
See full article at Variety »

Box Office: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ Cracks $3.7 Million on Thursday Night

  • Variety
Box Office: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ Cracks $3.7 Million on Thursday Night
M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” cracked $3.7 million at 3,200 North American sites on Thursday night.

Universal’s “Glass” brings together the narratives of Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable,” which was released in 2000, and 2016’s “Split.” The supernatural thriller unites stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, and Sarah Paulson. The film is set to open in 3,841 locations on Friday, with the studio anticipating a $50 million launch over the first four days.

“Glass” is expected to deliver the second-largest debut for January and for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, behind only “American Sniper,” which grossed $89.2 million over the three-day weekend and $107.2 million during Friday-Monday in 2015. “Glass” could surpass “Ride Along” as the second-best bow during the four-day frame. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube’s buddy comedy took in $48 million during the same period in 2014.

Shyamalan wrote, directed, and financed “Glass,” which carries a $20 million budget. McAvoy is reprising his role from “Split,
See full article at Variety »

Kevin Hart to Star in Paul Weitz’s ‘Fatherhood’

Kevin Hart to Star in Paul Weitz’s ‘Fatherhood’
Kevin Hart is ready to show off his serious side.

The comedian will star in Sony Pictures’ “Fatherhood,” a big-screen adaptation of the Matt Logelin bestseller “Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love.” The film, which centers on a widower who must raise his daughter after his wife dies in childbirth, is directed by Paul Weitz (“About a Boy”).

Hart just scored a box office hit with “The Upside,” another change-of-pace role. Its success came despite controversy surrounding Hart’s selection as Oscar host. He abandoned the emcee gig amid blowback over homophobic jokes he made earlier in his career. Hart had been alternately apologetic and defiant while promoting “The Upside,” a stance that further inflamed the controversy.

Hart will shoot “Fatherhood” after he wraps up the sequel to “Jumanji.” His other movies include “Night School,” “Get Hard,” and “Central Intelligence.”

Dana Stevens adapted Logelin’s book, with Weitz providing his own draft.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer: 130M Views In 24 Hours Breaks Studio Record

  • Deadline
Sony’s ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer: 130M Views In 24 Hours Breaks Studio Record
This week’s online release of a teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home was an off-the-wall sensation for Sony’s Columbia Pictures racking up 130 million views in its first 24 frenetic hours.

The massive response made Tuesday’s trailer debut the biggest digital launch in the history of Sony Pictures, topping the mark set by Spider-Man: Homecoming (116 million views in 24 hours). That July 2017 release went on to gross $334.2 million domestically and $880.1 million worldwide.

The new trailer arrived at a moment when interest in Spider-Man is on the upswing thanks to the critical and commercial success of Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the landmark animated epic that appears poised for a major trophy run after its Golden Globes win.

Curiosity in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer was stoked even more by the cliffhanger ending of Avengers: Infinity War, the Disney/Marvel Studios hit that finished 2018 as the year’s top-grossing global release.
See full article at Deadline »

"The Terror": Season Two; Christopher Naoki Lee to Recur on AMC Series

The Terror has some new company. Deadline reports Christopher Naoki Lee has joined season two of the AMC TV show.

An anthology drama, season two of The Terror “centers on a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese-American community, and a young man’s journey to understand and combat the malevolent entity responsible.” The cast includes George Takei, Derek Mio, Kiki Sukezane, and Miki Ishikawa.

Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

"The First" Canceled By Hulu After One Season

  • Deadline
There will be no second season for Beau Willimon’s Hulu series The First, starring Sean Penn. Hulu has opted not to renew the drama, which was picked up straight-to-series by the streaming network, Deadline has confirmed.

Written by Willimon and executive produced by Willimon and his producing partner Jordan Tappis, The First followed the first human mission to Mars, exploring the challenges of taking the first steps toward interplanetary colonization. The story focused not only on the astronauts, but also on their families and loved ones, as well as the ground team on Earth. Natasha McElhone, LisaGay Hamilton, Keiko Agena and Hannah Ware also starred.

“It’s a story about the human spirit,” said Willimon when the series order was announced. “About our indomitable need to reach for unknown horizons. About people working toward the greatest pioneering achievement in human history. And about the cost of that vision, the danger and sacrifice – emotional,
See full article at Deadline »

2019 Oscar Nomination Predictions: Our Final Selections, Ranked for Each Category

2019 Oscar Nomination Predictions: Our Final Selections, Ranked for Each Category
The 2019 Oscar race is all about Best Popular Film. Not only does the Academy not need that new category after all this year, but more big-grossers than ever are vying for spots on the final Oscar ballot to be revealed on January 22. Which might mean more people will tune into an Oscar show, rooting for mainstream movies they actually care about.

But while more popular hits, led by Bradley Cooper’s blockbuster “A Star is Born,” (Warner Bros.) are in contention for multiple categories including Best Picture, bragging rights may still wind up with Netflix’s first bonafide Best Picture candidate, Alfonso Cuarón’s cinephile-dream “Roma,” which commanded a more robust arthouse release than any Netflix film to date, along with a lavish promotional campaign, and has been widely viewed on the global streaming platform.

The Golden Globe and Critics Choice winner and Mexico’s black-and-white foreign-language Oscar entry, “Roma
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Netflix Reboots True Crime & Paranormal Series "Unsolved Mysteries" With "Stranger Things" EP Shawn Levy

Netflix Reboots True Crime & Paranormal Series
Exclusive: Unsolved Mysteries is back after Netflix revived the long-running true crime and paranormal franchise.

The series, which was hosted by Robert Stack and ran for over 500 episodes between 1987 and 2010, is being refreshed by Stranger Things Ep Shawn Levy and his company 21 Laps Entertainment and Netflix.

I hear that Levy is overseeing the revamp in association with Cosgrove-Meurer Productions, the original production company run by the show’s creators John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer. The latter will show run the series with Cosgrove, Levy and Josh Barry as exec producers. Robert Wise is co-exec producer and showrunner with Dunn Meurer.

The 12-part show will use re-enactments in a documentary format to profile real-life mysteries and unsolved crimes, lost love, cases involving missing persons and unexplained paranormal events. Each episode will focus on one mystery. In the original series, actors played the victims, criminals and witnesses but family members and police were regularly interviewed.
See full article at Deadline »

China’s ‘Three Adventures of Brooke’ to Hit French Theaters (Exclusive)

Midnight Blur Films has signed a deal with French distributor Les Acacias to release Chinese arthouse drama “Three Adventures of Brooke” in France this year, the Chinese production company told Variety on Saturday. A release date has yet to be set for the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Chinese newcomer Xu Fangyi and French actor Pascal Greggory.

“We chose Les Acacias because we have been following their lineup for a long time, and we admire their taste and their cooperation with renowned filmmakers like Hong Sang-soo and Wang Bing,” Midnight Blur’s co-founder and head of international sales Cao Liuying said, adding that the Paris-based distributor had offered “a satisfying minimum guarantee.”

Midnight Blur is registered in the Chinese city of Hangzhou and has agents in Shanghai, Beijing, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Les Acacias has a track record of distributing artistic works by Asian directors.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Trailers of the Week: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘John Wick 3’

Trailers of the Week: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘John Wick 3’
What’s shaking this week in the world of trailers, you ask? How about the first official clip of the new live-action Spider-Man movie; a look at the next season of IFC’s brilliant parody series Documentary Now; the first official promo for a black metal biopic; a new Soderbergh movie (!); the third John Wick movie (!!!); and a cryptic teaser for … another Ghostbusters reboot?! Here’s your trailer round-up of the week.

Documentary Now!, Season 3

The greatest TV show (ridiculously meticulous parodies of actual legendary documentaries division) returns! Fred Armisen
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Make Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Make Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’
This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now made his directorial debut, “The Seventh Continent.” Few films in MyFrenchFilmFestival, which launched yesterday.

In it, Emile, a rotund-girthed private investigator is asked by Thybaud to find his girlfriend Claire Soares, who has been abducted by billionaire John Rapoport, or so Thybaud says. The first person Emile down his local club says she knows Rapport very well – he comes to cry on her shoulder every night; the second announces he’s going to a party at Claire’s place, just nearby. But Emile really shouldn’t take Mdma, when he’s on the job.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking.

“At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side campfire. Aurore, Simon and Adrien break from the pack and decide to “borrow” a small motorboat moored on the beach. The three take the party to the water where they finish off the booze before eventually passing out, only to wake up the next morning out of gas, nearly naked and the coastline nowhere in sight.

The three initially find comfort in one another before the adverse circumstances pit them against each other in a days-long struggle for survival.

“At Dawn” is part coming-of-age and part psychological thriller and a bit of other genres.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Baptiste Petit-Gats: ‘Editing Taught Me How to Write for Film’

France’s Baptiste Petit-Gats is an hyphenate that keeps himself plenty busy editing, photographing, writing and directing. The bulk of his editing gigs up until now have been in documentary film work, evident in the way he shot and edited his own short film, participating in the MyFrenchFilmFestival, “Flowers.”

In the film, Petit-Gats tells the heartbreaking story of a widowed mother and her adolescent son over the course of a rainy All Saints Day, an originally Catholic holiday dedicated to remembering the dead. Berenice is obsessed with finding the flowers she was meant to have bought to place on her husband’s grave, and drags her adolescent son Sacha from shop to shop to find the right ones. Sacha has other priorities however, and the two struggle to stay on the same page.

The film’s story is told from Berenice’s point of view with close ups and out-of-focus backgrounds.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

France’s Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh Discuss MyFFF Suburban Fable ‘Blue Dog’

French filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met at university while studying political science before diverging towards separate careers. Trouilh trained in documentary filmmaking; Liatard worked on urban artistic projects in Lebanon and France. They eventually joined back up to film three shorts: “Gagarine,” a Sundance Channel Shorts Competition Jury Prize winner in 2016; “The Republic of Enchanters”; and their latest, “Blue Dog,” which is in competition at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, available on VOD platforms around the world.

In “Blue Dog” the pair weaves a story of inclusion along with one rooted in a father-and-son relationship, all in a mixed tone of realism and fable. “The movie enlightens the strength of the community against isolation, especially in the kind of neighborhood we are filming,” they say.

Can you talk a bit about the story in “Blue Dog”?

It’s the story of Emile, a 60-year-old man, living in a social housing
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Collection’ Director Emmanuel Blanchard Readies First Feature

Paris-born Emmanuel Blanchard studied and then taught history before becoming a documentary filmmaker responsible for films such as “Bombing War,” “Le diable de la République” and “Après la guerre.” He’s currently directing “Notre-Dame de Paris”, a 90-minute animated part-doc, part-fiction film on the building of the world-famous Paris cathedral. Competing at MyFFF, “The Collection” is his first fiction short. In it, French writer and Honorary Oscar winner Jean-Claude Carrière. Luis Buñuel’s longtime co-writer, plays a main role. Blanchard is developing his feature-debut under the working title “Brumaire.”

What is the “The Collection” about?

It’s about an unscrupulous merchant who “buys” artistic pieces from Jewish collectors forced to leave Paris in the midst of the occupation of France by Nazi Germany. Informed by a janitor, he hears about Mr. Klein’s extraordinary collection.

I think it’s a stylized piece about subjugation and oppression with a puzzling development.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’

Film Review: ‘Dragon Ball Super: Broly’
Late in “Dragon Ball Super: Broly,” the 20th Japanese anime feature in a 35-year-old franchise that also has spawned scads of TV series, trading cards, video games, mangas, and limited-edition collectibles, a supporting character complains, “I don’t understand a single thing you’ve said the whole time.”

If you’re among the heretofore uninitiated drawn to this new Dragon Ball extravaganza, which has been dubbed into English and booked into 1,440 North American theaters, you may often find yourself experiencing similar frustration as you struggle to make sense of a patchwork plot that seems derived from various strands of the ongoing mythos, and is filled with apparently major characters whose backstories are only fuzzily defined.

On the other hand, the impressive opening-day box office — more than $7 million on Weds., Jan. 16 — for “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” indicate that, if this is indeed strictly a members-only attraction, well, anticipation must have been
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Loco Films Boards ‘Paper Flag’ From Promising New Director Nathan Ambrosioni (Exclusive)

Loco Films has come on board “Paper Flag” (“Les Papiers de drapeaux”), the feature debut of 18-year old French director Nathan Ambrosioni.

The film explores the ambivalent relationship between two siblings and the concept of freedom. Guillaume Gouix (“The Returned”) stars as a young adult who has just got out of jail after 12 years of detention and bursts into the tranquile life of his younger sister, away from the city. Gouix stars opposite Noémie Merlant, who previously starred in “Once in a Lifetime” and “Heaven Will Wait.”

Loco Films is screening “Paper Flag” at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris, ahead of its launch at the European Film Market in Berlin next month. The film already won the audience prize at the La Roche-Sur-Yon Festival in France, which is spearheaded by Paolo Moretto, the new head of Cannes’s Directors Fortnight.

Laurent Danielou, the co-founder of Loco Films, told Variety that
See full article at Variety - Film News »

R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on ‘Dateline’

R. Kelly Accusers Detail Abuse, Reveal Evidence on ‘Dateline’
The continuing controversy surrounding R. Kelly, including allegations of sexual abuse by a number of women over three decades, was the focus of Friday’s episode of “Dateline.” Speaking to accusers Sparkle, Jerhonda Pace and parents Tim and Jonjelyn Savage, among others, NBC’s Andrea Canning heard more harrowing tales of abduction and sexual misconduct on the part of the Grammy-winning singer, in addition to intimidation by Kelly’s legal team.

“Accused: The R. Kelly Story,” like “Surviving R.Kelly,” the Lifetime series that brought the years-long scandal back to the public consciousness, recounts similar patterns of manipulation, control and
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Film Review: ‘Who Will Write Our History’

Film Review: ‘Who Will Write Our History’
The most famous diarist of the Holocaust, Anne Frank, began to write down the drama of her daily life with no ulterior motive (apart from her teenage ambition to write fiction). But in March 1944, the year before she died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she heard a radio broadcast by a member of the Dutch government in exile who promised to publish the letters and diaries of his people after the war. From that moment on, Anne Frank knew that she was writing for posterity, even if she could never have guessed how important her words would one day become.

By contrast, the diarists chronicled in “Who Will Write Our History,” a vital and sobering documentary directed by Roberta Grossman, always knew that they were drafting the record of an existence whose memory — were it not for them — would be wiped away. They were Jewish residents of Warsaw who, in
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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