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International Piracy Ring Stole Over 25,000 Movie and TV Digital Files, U.S. Feds Say

  • Variety
International Piracy Ring Stole Over 25,000 Movie and TV Digital Files, U.S. Feds Say
A five-member international hacking crime ring stole more than 25,000 files for Hollywood movies and TV shows and illegally offered hundreds of them for sale online, according to U.S. law enforcement officials.

A federal grand jury in L.A. on Wednesday (Dec. 12) indicted five men, identified as residing in the U.K., India, Dubai and Malaysia, on seven criminal charges each for conduct alleged to span early 2013 to the spring of 2015.

U.S. investigators said the defendants allegedly stole or illegally copied copies of movies and TV shows including: “Fifty Shades of Grey” (pictured above), “The Expendables 3,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “Godzilla,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Horrible Bosses 2,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” They then offered to sell purloined titles prior to their official release or the same day as their U.
See full article at Variety »

X-Men: Dark Phoenix Will Be The Start Of A New Chapter For The Franchise

With the Disney/Fox deal on the horizon, there’s been much talk that a reboot is imminent for the X-Men property, and at least as far as the core franchise films go, a lot of Marvel fans probably wouldn’t object to the idea, either. Nonetheless, X-Men: Dark Phoenix is on course to continue the saga next year, and according to director Simon Kinberg, the upcoming film is just the beginning of a new chapter for the decades-spanning series.

In an interview with CinePOP, the filmmaker and regular X-Men producer discussed how Dark Phoenix will break new ground for the property in terms of the tone it adopts.

“I see it as a new chapter,” Kinberg says. “I see it as taking the franchise in a different direction tonally. And that doesn’t mean that the next one will have the same tone, it just means that the next
See full article at We Got This Covered »

"The Umbrella Academy" on Netflix - New Footage

From TorontoFilm.Net, take a look at footage from the live-action adaptation of Dark Horse Comics' superhero title "The Umbrella Academy", starring Ellen Page ("X-Men: Days Of Future Past") as 'Vanya', Tom Hopper as 'Luther', David Castañeda as 'Diego', Emmy Raver-Lampman as 'Allison', Robert Sheehan as 'Klaus' and Aidan Gallagher as 'Number Five', streaming on Netflix, February 15, 2019:

"...set in 1977, in an alternate history where John F. Kennedy was never assassinated, there is a dysfunctional family of superheroes.

"Origin of the superheroes started at the instant of the finishing blow in a cosmic boxing match, when 43 superpowered infants are inexplicably born to random, unconnected women who showed no signs of pregnancy.

"'Sir Reginald Hargreeves' aka 'The Monocle', an extraterrestrial disguised as a famous entrepreneur, adopts the surviving seven children, prepping them to save the world from an unspecified threat as the 'Umbrella Academy'..."

"I am thrilled that 'The Umbrella Academy'
See full article at SneakPeek »

‘The Umbrella Academy’ First Trailer: Ellen Page Has a New Superhero Family in Netflix Series

‘The Umbrella Academy’ First Trailer: Ellen Page Has a New Superhero Family in Netflix Series
Ellen Page is moving on from the “X-Men” in the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming superhero series “The Umbrella Academy.” The project is based on the comic book series of the same name created and written by Gerard Way, illustrated by Gabriel Bá, and published by Dark Horse Comics.

The Umbrella Academy” begins in 1989 on a day in which 43 infants are born to mothers who, up to the day of their deliveries, had not been pregnant. A wealthy billionaire adopts seven of these children after they show superhuman abilities. Years later, the six remaining children are forced to band together to solve the mysterious death of the billionaire and the impending apocalypse.

Joining Ellen Page in the star-studded cast are Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, John Magaro, Ashley Madekwe, and Kate Walsh, among others. The series is created for television by Steve Blackman, best known
See full article at Indiewire »

Film News Roundup: Directors Guild Selects Special Awards Recipients

  • Variety
In today’s film news roundup, the DGA honors a pair of members for contributions to the guild, romantic comedy “Wild Honey” gets a release and VFX house Proof expands.

DGA Honors

Unit production manager Kathleen McGill and associate director Mimi (Marian) Deaton have been selected as the recipients of the Directors Guild of America special awards for contributions to the guild.

The duo will be honored at the 71st Annual DGA Awards on Feb. 2 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood. McGill will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award and Deaton will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award.

McGill worked as a Upm on Brian DePalma’s “Snake Eyes,” Ron Howard’s “The Da Vinci Code,” “Frost/Nixon” and “A Beautiful Mind,” Bryan Singer’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “X-Men: Apocalypse” and is currently at work on Simon Kinberg’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
See full article at Variety »

Kathleen McGill And Mimi Deaton To Receive Special Honors At DGA Awards

  • Deadline
Kathleen McGill and Mimi Deaton will be honored with special awards at the 71st annual DGA Awards. McGill, a unit production manager, will receive the Frank Capra Achievement Award, and Deaton, an associate director, will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award. Both awards are given in recognition of career achievement and service to the guild.

“Kathy and Mimi embody the type of leadership, dedication and distinguished commitment that these Special Awards were designed to celebrate,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “Even with active, successful careers, they have both devoted countless hours in service to the DGA representing their fellow members and advocating on their behalf, strengthening our guild and reinforcing our mission to protect and promote the economic and creative rights of our members.”

McGill began her entertainment career as a production accountant before joining the guild as a Upm in 1995. Since then, she’s focused on educating and mentoring her fellow members,
See full article at Deadline »

Supergirl Cast Previews Mystifying, Musical (?!) Thanksgiving Melee

Supergirl Cast Previews Mystifying, Musical (?!) Thanksgiving Melee
Thanksgiving dinner is served on Sunday’s Supergirl (The CW, 8/7c). But before anyone has a chance to give thanks for life’s many blessings (Sam Witwer’s jawline, etc.), a scuffle with the Children of Liberty cuts the celebration short.

“All of the Superfriends come together for Thanksgiving dinner, and like pretty much every Supergirl get-together, we’re forced to … scatter and go off and try to save the city,” Jesse Rath told reporters during a recent visit to the show’s set. “You get to see Braniac get froggy with a couple of Children of Liberty thugs.
See full article at TVLine.com »

Oscar Isaac found working on X-Men: Apocalypse “excruciating”

During an interview with GQ, actor Oscar Isaac has been reflecting on his role as the titular villain in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse, describing his experience on the set of the Bryan Singer-directed superhero movie as “excruciating”.

Apocalypse, that was excruciating,” said Isaac. “I didn’t know when I said yes that that was what was going to be happening. That I was going to be encased in glue, latex and a 40-pound suit — that I had to wear a cooling mechanism at all times. I was like, ‘oh, I get to work with these great actors that I like so much,’ but I couldn’t even see them because I couldn’t move my head. And I had to sit on a specially designed saddle, because that’s the only thing I could really sit on, and I would be rolled into a cooling tent in-between takes. And every time I moved,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Oscar Isaac Says Filming X-Men: Apocalypse Was Excruciating

After X-Men: Days of Future Past sought to give the franchise a fresh start through its time travel retconning, 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse quickly put the series out of favor with audiences and critics once more, and as it turns out, acting in this film wasn’t exactly a fun journey for Oscar Isaac, either.

The Star Wars regular played the titular villain in the Bryan Singer-helmed flick, though you’d be forgiven for not recognizing him under all those layers of blue prosthetics. And in an interview with GQ, Isaac painted a nightmarish picture of his experience wearing that stuff on set:

Apocalypse, that was excruciating. I didn’t know, when I said yes, that that was what was going to be happening — that I was going to be encased in glue, and latex, and in a 40-pound suit that I had to wear a cooling mechanism at all times.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

China box office: 'Venom' brings welcome 134% surge

The Sony blockbuster took $108.9m from its first three days.

Us superheroes have proven again their mighty power over the Chinese box office.

All thanks to Sony’s Venom, the week of Nov 5-11 saw a huge surge by 134% week-on-week, making it the first upswing after four straight weeks of alarming contractions in ticket sales since the National Day holiday in the first week of October.

Venom easily conquered the charts with $108.9m from its first three days, which represented over 70% of the week’s total box office in China and 37% bigger than its North American debut in early October.
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tax Evasion Scandals Stall Film Production in China

  • Variety
Tax Evasion Scandals Stall Film Production in China
Things are changing fast in China’s entertainment industry. The country’s film business is expected to enter a period of slowdown as the government continues to crack down on tax evasion after the eruption of the scandals surrounding Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (pictured above) and the war epic “Unbreakable Spirit.”

Many productions in the making have been put on hold amid the new uncertainties. Big-budget blockbusters and highly paid A-listers are likely to be affected the most.

Emperor Motion Picture confirmed to Variety that the production of “Crossfire” has been postponed until further notice. The action-thriller, to be directed and produced by Benny Chan and starring Donnie Yen, who also serves as producer, was announced during FilMart in Hong Kong in March. The film is expected to be a big-budget co-production as it was going to be shot on location in South America, but Emp still has not confirmed
See full article at Variety »

25 Crazy Facts Behind The Making Of The X-Men Movies

Many people credit 2002's Spider-Man with kicking off the current superhero movie craze, but X-Men came out two years before and was probably just as influential. At a time when comic book movies were not especially in vogue, it earned a very respectable $157 million at the domestic box office and another $139 million internationally. The film was also responsible for introducing these characters to general audiences who were not overly familiar with them.

Two sequels -- X-Men 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand -- followed. They, too, were box office blockbusters. After a hiatus of a few years, the widely-ridiculed spinoff X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was released. Although it made money, few people viewed it as a creative success. In a major attempt to course-correct, the franchise was rebooted in 2011 as a prequel trilogy. X-Men: First Class followed Professor X and Magneto as younger men. X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse came shortly after.
See full article at Screen Rant »

‘American Horror Story’ star cast in ‘I Am Woman’

Evan Peters (Photo credit: YouTube).

American Horror Story star Evan Peters will play a key supporting role in I Am Woman, Goalpost PicturesHelen Reddy biopic which is about to start shooting in Australia and the Us.

Peters will play Jeff Wald, the Us talent manager who married the Australian singer in 1966 and negotiated her career-changing deal with Capitol Records in 1971, which spawned the global hit ‘I Am Woman.’

Tilda Cobham-Hervey is playing Reddy with Danielle Macdonald (Patti Cake$) as her close friend Lillian Roxon, the legendary rock journalist.

Produced by Rosemary Blight and scripted by Emma Jensen, the film will mark the narrative feature debut of Unjoo Moon, who directed The Zen of Bennett, a feature documentary set on the eve of singer Tony Bennett’s 85th birthday.

Deadline.com, which broke the casting of Peters, noted Wald reportedly had a drug problem that was considered a major contributing
See full article at IF.com.au »

Aaron Taylor-Johnson Sheds Light On A Quicksilver Return In Avengers 4

Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s take on Quicksilver came and went with a speed befitting the character. While his sister, Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch, has stuck around in the McU for a while now, he departed during his first performance in 2015’s underwhelming Age of Ultron. But could the hero be making a surprise return in Avengers 4?

It might not be as unlikely as it seems. After all, Taylor-Johnson signed up to a multi-movie contract when he took the role, there are rumors that he’s been spotted on set and there are increasingly plausible reports that the film will feature some kind of time-travel, opening the door for his resurrection.

Some water’s now been poured on that fire by the actor himself, though. He was asked directly by Metro whether he was stepping back into the role and told them, “It’s not a conversation right now.” That sounds pretty conclusive,
See full article at We Got This Covered »

‘Resident Evil’ Team Under Way On ‘Monster Hunter’ Starring Milla Jovovich; Meagan Good & Josh Helman Join Cast

  • Deadline
‘Resident Evil’ Team Under Way On ‘Monster Hunter’ Starring Milla Jovovich; Meagan Good & Josh Helman Join Cast
Shooting is underway in South Africa and Namibia on Resident Evil writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson’s video game adaptation Monster Hunter, starring Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), Tony Jaa (xXx: Return of Xander Cage), Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris, Diego Boneta (Before I Fall) and Ron Perlman (Hell Boy). Meagan Good (Code Black) and Josh Helman (X-Men: Days Of Future Past) have also joined the cast.

Constantin’s Robert Kulzer (Resident Evil) and Martin Moszkowicz are producing with Jeremy Bolt (Resident Evil) and Anderson from Impact Pictures. Dennis Berardi, head of VFX for the film, also acts as producer.

Sony’s Screen Gems will release the film in the U.S. Constantin Film will release the movie in German-speaking territories and arrange for the film’s distribution in China; Toho will distribute in Japan; and Sony Pictures Releasing International will release in the rest of the world.

The movie will chart the
See full article at Deadline »

Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis War Drama ‘Air Strike’ Release Canceled in China After Tax Evasion Charges

  • The Wrap
Fan Bingbing, Bruce Willis War Drama ‘Air Strike’ Release Canceled in China After Tax Evasion Charges
World War II thriller “Air Strike” has been canceled after Chinese actress Fan Bingbing went missing amid with tax evasion charges.

According to the Associated Press, “Air Strike” director Xiao Feng posted on his Weibo miniblog on Wednesday that although he worked on the film for eight years, it was “time to let go.”

The thriller (also known as “Unbreakable Spirit” in China) that also stars Bruce Willis and Adrien Brody, was set to have an Oct. 26 release in both China and the United States.

Also Read: China Orders Fan Bingbing to Pay $70 Million Over Tax Evasion

Earlier this month, Fan Bingbing has been ordered to pay the equivalent of more than $100 million in taxes and fines. One of the most popular actresses in China, Fan hasn’t been seen in public or heard from since an early June visit to a children’s hospital in Tibet. Her absence prompted
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Aquaman,’ ‘Venom’ and – Surprisingly – ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Head to China

  • The Wrap
‘Aquaman,’ ‘Venom’ and – Surprisingly – ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Head to China
With China’s box office in an unexpected slump, the country’s film board has approved release dates for several major American movies, including the current No. 1 movie in the world, “Venom.” In a surprising turn of events, the all-Asian film “Crazy Rich Asians” will also open in the Middle Kingdom.

Venom,” which has earned $378 million worldwide through 12 days in theaters, will be released in China on Nov. 9. The $100 million Spider-Man spinoff has bucked bad reviews to earn a strong start for Sony Pictures’ planned series of films based on the Marvel IP, and a strong opening in China could help further solidify global interest in future installments.

Also Read: 'Venom' Conquers Box Office Again as 'First Man,' 'Goosebumps 2' Open to $16 Million

Crazy Rich Asians,” meanwhile, will be released on Nov. 30, more than three months after the Jon M. Chu rom-com opened in the rest
See full article at The Wrap »

Keanu Reeves Stars In New John Wick 3 Photo

Photo by: Niko Tavernise.

Lionsgate has released a brand new photo of Keanu Reeves from John Wick 3. Expect a new trailer soon. The film will be released by Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label on May 17, 2019.

John Wick 3, led by Reeves, will reunite Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne, Golden Globe winner Ian McShane, Lance Reddick, Academy Award winners Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston, Asia Kate Dillon, Mark Dacascos, and Jason Mantzoukas.

In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

“We’re thrilled to bring audiences the third installment of our hit John Wick franchise with an
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Fan Bingbing’s mysterious disappearance: what it means for China’s elite

Three months ago, one of the country’s best known actors went missing. Now, seemingly chastened, she has reappeared with a bill for £112m in unpaid taxes and fines

Imagine if Jennifer Lawrence or Scarlett Johansson went missing and nobody knew where they had gone – even three months later. That is what happened to Fan Bingbing.

Fan is one of China’s best known and highest-paid actors, thanks to a string of domestic hits such as Cell Phone and Double Xposure, and small roles in Iron Man 3 and X-Men: Days of Future Past. The 37-year-old was on the jury of the Cannes film festival last year, and is set to star in a new thriller opposite Jessica Chastain and Penelope Cruz.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Chinese Stars Rush to Pay Taxes in Biz Crackdown

  • Variety
Chinese Stars Rush to Pay Taxes in Biz Crackdown
Hong Kong pop queen Faye Wong, mainland Chinese actress Zhao Wei and Taiwan’s Shu Qi are believed to be among the celebrities from around greater China who are now rushing to ensure their finances are on the right side of the law in the Middle Kingdom.

Their haste has been triggered by the recently announced punishment of superstar Fan Bingbing for tax evasion, and by the Chinese government’s campaign to make public examples of misbehaving celebrities.

Tax officials Wednesday revealed that Fan, star of Hollywood’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and recent Chinese hit “I Am Not Madame Bovary,” could be liable for up to $129 million (Rmb 883 million) in back taxes, late payment penalties and fines.

The hefty penalty imposed on China’s most famous actress – who was reportedly detained and questioned by authorities for months – signals the beginning of an aggressive crackdown on the country’s booming entertainment business,
See full article at Variety »
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