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‘Chronicles of Narnia’ Original Screenwriters Warn Against Turning Series Into Another ‘Great Big Fantasy Franchise’

‘Chronicles of Narnia’ Original Screenwriters Warn Against Turning Series Into Another ‘Great Big Fantasy Franchise’
Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are franchise guys, and happily so. The screenwriters behind six Marvel Cinematic Universe films — including this week’s much-anticipated new release “Avengers: Infinity War” and its upcoming untitled 2019 sequel, plus all three “Captain America” films — first broke into Hollywood with their “Chronicles of Narnia” films, scripting three different franchise entries before the series sputtered out after 2010’s low-earning “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

While Markus and McFeely are no longer on the “Narnia” beat, the beloved C.S. Lewis series is still in the Hollywood mix, and rumors of a “Silver Chair” film adaptation have persisted since October 2013, when the film rights were purchased by the Mark Gordon Company (the original films were made by Walden Media). Screenwriter David Magee was set to write the screenplay, and director Joe Johnston came on board in April 2017.

In January 2016, producer Mark Gordon told Collider that “Silver Chair
See full article at Indiewire »

Icymi, This Westworld Actor Is Also the Prince of Narnia

"What happens in Westworld, stays in Westworld," is the philosophy, you could say, of one of the HBO show's most vindictive characters. Logan is a frequent visitor to the park within Westworld, and he enjoys his time there in the most gruesome of ways. Maiming hosts and murdering for sport, Logan represents a dark side of humanity that we know will only get darker in season two. His family owns a company called Delos, one that could invest more into the Westworld theme park. So who is the actor that breathes life into this wicked character?

Ben Barnes plays Logan, and if you're not familiar with his name, then you may be familiar with his résumé. Before becoming Westworld fans, some viewers may have known a trilogy of films entitled The Chronicles of Narnia. Barnes did not appear in the first of the trilogy, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe,
See full article at BuzzSugar »

‘I Can Only Imagine’ Might Not Be March’s Only Faith-Based Box Office Surprise Hit

‘I Can Only Imagine’ Might Not Be March’s Only Faith-Based Box Office Surprise Hit
Faith-based filmmaking isn’t dead. While the genre has struggled recently to turn out crossover hits (and nothing has topped the $611M take of Mel Gibson’s controversial smash hit “The Passion of the Christ,” still the top earner in the genre 14 years after its release), brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin’s latest film, “I Can Only Imagine,” surprised this weekend’s box office with a $17 million opening take, good enough to push it to third place in a crowded field. Among contemporary Christian community titles, only “Heaven Is for Real” had a better opening, scoring $22 million when it opened in 2014.

Other faith-based movies have recently faltered at the box office, making the success of “I Can Only Imagine” as a bit of an outlier in a struggling — and often independently made — genre. The last big Christian-leaning hit to crack $100 million at the domestic box office was 2010’s “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
See full article at Indiewire »

Michael Apted Receiving Another Honor: DGA Honorary Life Membership

Michael Apted Receiving Another Honor: DGA Honorary Life Membership
The Directors Guild of America is awarding Michael Apted its DGA honorary life member award on Saturday at its 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel — the latest in a long line of honors.

The award is given in recognition of leadership, contribution to the guild and the profession of directing, and outstanding career achievement. Apted currently serves as DGA secretary-treasurer but he’s also received a Grammy, a British Academy Award, a DGA Award and the International Documentary Association’s highest

honor, the Ida Career Achievement Award.

By the order of Queen Elizabeth II, he was also made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for his work in the film and television industries. In 2013, Apted received the DGA’s Robert B. Aldrich Award for extraordinary service to the Guild and its membership.

“Michael is a game changer for our guild and our industry,” said DGA President
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Michael Apted to Receive Directors Guild’s Honorary Life Member Award

Michael Apted to Receive Directors Guild’s Honorary Life Member Award
The Directors Guild of America has awarded Michael Apted its DGA honorary life member award in recognition of leadership, contribution to the guild and the profession of directing, and outstanding career achievement.

The award will be presented to Apted, who currently serves as DGA secretary-treasurer, at the 70th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Feb. 3 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“Michael is a game changer for our guild and our industry,” said DGA President Thomas Schlamme. “Whether having the foresight as a young man to conceptualize the revolutionary documentary series “7 Up” — still going on decades later — or guiding Hollywood through a digital revolution, he is a fearless, visionary leader, and we are all the beneficiaries.”

Schlamme noted that Apted has served as either president or co-chair for every major new media and Svod negotiation.

“Michael has skillfully navigated the DGA through times of great change, setting the path for our members and our industry to flourish. His search
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hollywood Insider Michael Apted on Combating Sexual Harassment, Working With Actors, Cinematographers

Hollywood Insider Michael Apted on Combating Sexual Harassment, Working With Actors, Cinematographers
Variety speaks to British director Michael Apted, who has served as president of the Directors Guild of America, and as a governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He talks about his approach to working with cinematographers, how he gets the best out of actors, and how Hollywood should respond to the sexual harassment crisis. Apted heads the jury at Camerimage, a film festival dedicated to the art of cinematography. The event wraps on Saturday.

Apted has received numerous accolades for his films. The “Up” documentary series, which has followed the same group of people since they were 7 years old, has won two BAFTAs.

His Hollywood movies have included “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which won an Oscar for Sissy Spacek, and was nominated in six other categories including best picture, “Gorillas in the Mist,” which was nominated for five Oscars, and “Nell,” which earned Jodie Foster an Oscar nomination. His other pictures
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Netflix is Developing a Series That Explores What Would Happen if Christ Showed Up in the Modern Day World

Netflix is developing a new series called Messiah, which tells a story of Jesus Christ and what it would be like if he showed up in the modern day world. It's certainly an interesting concept. It will explore how society would react to a person who mysteriously appears in the Middle East claiming to be the Messiah and savior of the world.

The 10-episode series is described as a “suspenseful drama exploring the lines among religion, faith and politics", and this is the synopsis that was released:

Messiah will chronicle the modern world’s reaction to a man who first appears in the Middle East creating a groundswell of followers around him claiming he is the Messiah. Is he sent from God or is he a dangerous fraud bent on dismantling the world’s geopolitical order? In ten hour-long episodes, the story unfolds from multiple points of view, including a young CIA agent,
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Messiah: Netflix orders new faith-based series

David Crow Kirsten Howard Nov 17, 2017

At Netflix, Messiah will chronicle the world's reaction to a man thousands call "the Messiah" emerging from the Middle East...

The Word of God is good. It is also very lucrative. Ever since the days of silent films, the Bible has been big business in Hollywood. And as we travel ever further into 'peak television’s' new era of streaming, that one constant remains. However, the officially greenlit series Messiah, at least on its premise, promises to be a challenging new take on faith-based content.

First announced as in-development last spring, Netflix officially ordered a 10-episode series of Messiah yesterday, which is likely to be a controversial and highly publicised series when it eventually drops. Created by Michael Petroni, who has developed the project with producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the series looks to provocatively consider the emergence (or reemergence?) of a figure claiming
See full article at Den of Geek »

Netflix Orders Modern-Day Messiah Drama From Ep Mark Burnett

Netflix Orders Modern-Day Messiah Drama From Ep Mark Burnett
Netflix is having a come-to-Jesus moment.

The streamer has ordered to series Messiah, a 10-episode drama “exploring the lines among religion, faith and politics,” from exec producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The modern-day epic, created by Michael Petroni (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader), is set for release sometime in 2019.

In the series, a mysterious figure surfaces in the Middle East and cultivates a large following who believe him to be the Messiah. This in turn begs the question, “Is he sent from God, or is
See full article at TVLine.com »

Narnia: The Silver Chair Wants Stranger Things Star as The Lead

Narnia: The Silver Chair Wants Stranger Things Star as The Lead
Now that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair has a filmmaker in place, with Joe Johnston set to direct, the producers are shifting their focus to casting. A new report reveals that Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown has been offered the lead role of Jill Pole in The Silver Chair. While it's unclear if the young actress is considering this offer or not, it seems clear that this project will take a much different approach than the first Narnia movie, 2005's The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which cast then-unknown actors as the young child stars.

Thanks to her breakout role as Eleven on Netflix's Stranger Things, Millie Bobby Brown may be one of the most popular and in-demand child stars in the world, which she has already parlayed into one huge movie role. She joined the cast of Godzilla 2 back in January, which will serve as her feature film debut,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Friend Request movie review: Facebook, a horror story (again)

MaryAnn’s quick take… We’ve literally just seen this, in 2015’s Unfriended. Tedious wannabe scarefest misses the true horrors of Facebook and cultivates a personality-free blandness. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): not a big horror fan

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

If you’ve seen 2015’s Unfriended — about a bunch of high school students who are tormented online by the evil spirit of a classmate who was recently bullied into suicide — then you’ve already seen Friend Request, which is about a bunch of college students who are tormented online by the evil spirit of a classmate who recently committed suicide as the ultimate passive-aggressive response to being ignored. And in fact, this “new” movie has been languishing unreleased in the Us for a year and a half, perhaps to get more air between it and the earlier film.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Unlocked: Director Michael Apted Talks About Grounded Reality of Spy Thrillers and Female-Centric Role in This Film

The world today is a more dangerous place.

Veteran director Michael Apted returns to the spy thriller genre with Unlocked that stars Noomi Rapace in the lead role as a CIA interrogator.

The film also stars Michael Douglas, Toni Collette, John Malkovich and Orlando Bloom.

After failing to apprehend the terrorist behind a Paris attack that claimed dozens of lives, CIA agent Alice Racine is forced to live in London as a caseworker. Unexpectedly, she is called back into action by her mentor, Eric Lasch, when the CIA discovers intel of another imminent attack. While “unlocking” the suspect, Alice discovers that the classified information she has uncovered has been compromised. Running for her life, Alice turns to ex-soldier Jack to prevent a lethal biological attack on the citizens of London.

Lrm had a telephone interview with director Michael Apted earlier this month. We discussed the grounded reality of Unlocked to
See full article at LRM Online »

'Lion King', 'Harry Potter' animator's debut feature get sales deal

  • ScreenDaily
'Lion King', 'Harry Potter' animator's debut feature get sales deal
Exclusive: Concourse Film Trade launches sales on Alex Williams-directed animation.

Concourse Film Trade, the global sales and financing arm of Matthew Shreder and James Andrew Felts’ [pictured] Concourse Media, has acquired worldwide sales rights to the feature animation My Haunted House.

Animation veteran Alex Williams directs the feature about Charlie, a normal 14-year-old who lives in a haunted house with his supernatural family made up of Frankenstein, Count Dracula, mummies and zombies.

Williams brings a wealth of experience, having worked as an animator on The Lion King, Robots, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, among others.

The UK’s Tigon Entertainment is producing My Haunted House in association with Vancouver-based studio Liquid Media Group (Lmg), which has a first-look deal with Concourse finance partner Productivity Media. Bob Thompson is the producer in charge of animation.

“We have been seeking a strong animation title for several market
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Unlocked movie review: the spy who broke the female mold

MaryAnn’s quick take… There’s stuff in this spy thriller that’s fresh, and lots that’s familiar, but Noomi Rapace using her brains and brawn to fight bad guys is a genuine thrill. I’m “biast” (pro): I’m desperate for stories women; love a good spy movie

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Is “unlock” genuine spook-speak, like the way it’s used in Unlocked: to get useful information out of a suspect during an interrogation? It makes sense, but who knows. Does the CIA actually have agents working as “community embeds,” as Noomi Rapace’s Alice Racine is as Unlocked opens? Cuz that would be authentically insidious: she seems to be a kindly public advocate in a poor London neighborhood, the sort of person you might go to if you were having trouble with your landlord or something,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Unlocked review: Dir. Michael Apted (2017)

Unlocked review: Celebrated filmmaker Michael Apted unlocks some major Hollywood talent for this sub-par British crime thriller.

Unlocked review by Paul Heath.

Unlocked comes to the screen from directing legend Michael Apted, the man responsible for the likes of Gorillas In The Mist, Bond movie The World Is Not Enough and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, amongst many others. His six-decade career has seen Apted tackle many genres with varying budgets, but the filmmaker turns his hand to the world of crime in England’s capital with this new thriller loaded with tons of Hollywood talent.

Noomi Rapace leads the cast as Alice Racine, a former CIA interrogator who is lured back into action when London is put in danger of a biological attack. Racine is working as a social worker in the capital after failing to contain a terrorist attack in Paris five years
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair Gets Captain America Director

Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair Gets Captain America Director
After announcing last year that the Chronicles of Narnia franchise will be "restarted" with the new movie The Silver Chair, the producers have finally found their director. Joe Johnston has signed on to direct this fantasy adventure, marking his first movie since the 2014 thriller Not Safe For Work. No cast members have been set at this time, but this story will feature characters from the original C.S. Lewis novels, who haven't been featured in any of the previous movies.

Variety broke the news today, which comes eight months after producer Mark Gordon joined forces with Sony's TriStar Pictures, eOne and The C.S. Lewis Company for this restart. David Magee came aboard to write the screenplay in 2013, although the studios haven't set a release date or a production start date at this time quite yet. Here's what producer Mark Gordon had to say about bringing Joe Johnston in to direct The Silver Chair.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Joe Johnston To Direct Chronicles Of Narnia Revival The Silver Chair

When the Chronicles of Narnia first started hitting theaters in the mid-2000s, it was seen as the more kid-friendly Lord of the Rings. Obviously, the books were huge hits in their own right, but the approach Disney seemed to be taking the film had a huge emphasis on the battle scenes, giving it a real high fantasy aesthetic that was popular at the time. However, over the course of two films, enthusiasm petered out. Disney dropped Narnia, and soon after, Fox picked it up, producing the third film in the franchise, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

The film didn’t do horrible, but in true Narnia fashion, it seemed to underwhelm at the box office, only taking in $415 million worldwide. Again, not a huge failure by any means, and when all said and done, it likely made some money by the time it got
See full article at LRM Online »

Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Developing Religious Drama ‘Messiah’ for Netflix

Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Developing Religious Drama ‘Messiah’ for Netflix
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are developing a scripted religious drama entitled “Messiah” for Netflix, Variety has confirmed. The project is in the very early development stages, but would be set in the modern day and tell the story of the world’s reaction to a man who appears to be performing miracles in the Middle East.

Burnett and Downey will exec produce along with Andrew Deane​. Michael Petroni is the creator of the series, and will also serve as an executive producer. Petroni’s previous credits include the creating the ABC drama “Miracles,” which starred Skeet Ulrich as an investigator working on behalf of the Catholic Church.

He also wrote the screenplay for the feature film adaptation of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” and the 2011 Anthony Hopkins exorcism horror-drama “The Rite.” Netflix is producing the series, while MGM Television, of which Burnett is the president, is
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Michael Apted: Keeping the Line Between Fact and Fiction Sharply in Focus

Michael Apted: Keeping the Line Between Fact and Fiction Sharply in Focus
Bydgoszcz, Poland — For Michael Apted, it’s not critical whether a story is told as a documentary or as a narrative, he says. He’s done both, having begun his film career with the almost accidental invention of the “longitudinal documentary” with 1963’s “7 Up!” and its follow-up editions every seven years, following 14 Britons throughout their lives.

Later, filming the story of a shootout involving Native Americans in South Dakota, which resulted in the deaths of two FBI agents in 1975, he first took on the story as the docu “Incident at Oglala” in 1992.

He then retold a related story loosely in the narrative “Thunderheart,” starring Graham Greene and Val Kilmer and several of the subjects of the original nonfiction film that same year.

What’s important is not to blur the border between fact and fiction, says Apted.

The recipient of a lifetime achievement award in directing at Camerimage, Apted is
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Kenny Baker dies by Jennie Kermode - 2016-08-13 21:12:09

Kenny Baker as adventurer and thief Fidget in Time Bandits

Kenny Baker, the much loved actor who played Star Wars' R2D2, has died at the age of 81. The Birmingham-born star, who also had memorable roles in Time Bandits and Amadeus, is understood to have been ill for some time.

Baker, who began his acting career on the stage in 1950, had a particular love of fantasy and science fiction films, starring in popular favourites like Flash Gordon, Labyrinth, Willow and, more recently, The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. He also appeared in dramatic roles in the likes of Mona Lisa and The Elephant Man.

Tributes to Baker have been pouring in from friends and co-stars. Mark Hamill described him as a lifelong friend and Ewan McGregor said it had been lovely to work with him. He will be much missed by fans, having spent his later years travelling around.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »
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