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SAG-aftra Members Tout “Solidarity” After Informational Meeting

1 hour ago

SAG-aftra members appear ready to strike if ongoing negotiations for a new film and TV contract fail to produce a fair deal. At least that was the consensus among members leaving tonight's informational meeting at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City. “There was a lot of solidarity in the room,” said an actor leaving the meeting. “I certainly hope there won’t be a strike, but that depends on how the negotiations go.” “We’re vert united,” said an actress. “Everybody’s… »

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CAA Signs Oscar- & Emmy-Winning Writer-Director Aaron Sorkin

4 hours ago

Exclusive: In a bombshell development, CAA has just signed Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin, an Oscar winner for The Social Network and six time Emmy winner for his series creation The West Wing, makes the move after he completed his directorial debut, Molly’s Game. That film, an  Stx Entertainment/eOne adaptation of the Molly Bloom memoir about her transition from Olympic skier to organizer of high stakes poker games, stars Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner. The film is… »


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‘My Little Pony’ Trailer: There’s Trouble In Ponyville, But The Mane 6 Are On The Case

4 hours ago

Hasbro already has been to the movies with its Ouija, G.I. Joe and, of course, Transformers properties, and now it’s moving from action and horror to, well, My Little Pony. Here’s the first trailer for the animated pic inspired by the popular 1980s toy line. Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana headline the voice cast for the movie from director Jayson Thiessen, who has worked on a number of Pony projects… »


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SAG-aftra Briefs Agents On Contract Talks Amid Strike Threat

5 hours ago

Gearing up for a possible strike, leaders of SAG-aftra today met with talent agents to update them on the status of the union's negotiations for a new film and TV contact. David White, the union's national executive director, gave the agents a one-hour briefing on the contract talks after today's bargaining session with management's Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. That the union would take the unusual step of reaching out to agents at this stage of… »


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Terry Zwigoff Signs With ICM Partners

6 hours ago

Exclusive: Terry Zwigoff has signed with ICM Partners. Zwigoff is best known for directing the black comedies Bad Santa and Ghost World, as well as the heralded documentary Crumb, about the cartoonist Robert Crumb. Zwigoff, who had been with Wme, most recently helmed for Amazon Studios Budding Prospects, about a group that disconnects and sets out to grow pot in the country. Zwigoff remains with attorney Robert… »


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Shaun Grant To Adapt ‘Penguin Bloom’; Naomi Watts To Star

6 hours ago

Exclusive: Australian scribe Shaun Grant has signed on to adapt Penguin Bloom, the top-selling Australian book optioned last December by Naomi WattsReese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea for a film that will star Watts. The trio is producing the film with Aussie-based producer Emma Cooper. Set on Sydney's northern beaches, Penguin Bloom is the true story of a unique little bird that saves a family. The book is written by Bradley Trevor Greive, with photographs by Cameron… »


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Saban Films Ups Execs Jonathan Saba & Ness Saban

6 hours ago

Saban Films has promoted Jonathan Saba to Svp Distribution Sales & Marketing and Ness Saban to VP Business Development. The pair have been with the company since its May 24 launch, and the indie distributor has released 23 films since then with another 22 in the pipeline into 2018. Saba had been VP Sales since coming aboard, supervising the release strategy and marketing campaigns for the company's entire slate. He also negotiates output and license deals with Amazon… »


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Focus Buys Political Drama Pitch From ‘Novitiate’ Helmer Maggie Betts

6 hours ago

Exclusive: Focus Features has bought an untitled original pitch for a contemporary political drama from Maggie Betts, who’ll co-write the script with Andy Bellin. Betts will direct it. Celine Rattray and Trudie Styler of Maven Pictures will produce. Josh McLaughlin will oversee the movie for Focus. Betts wrote and directed Novitiate, the Maven Pictures-produced film that won her the Breakthrough Director Award when it premiered at Sundance. Sony Pictures Classics bought it… »


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Bart & Fleming: As Daniel Day-Lewis Exits, Who Wears Greatest Living Actor Crown?

9 hours ago

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades at Daily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. Fleming: Daniel Day-Lewis' retirement announcement begs the question: who takes over as Greatest Living Actor? If you had asked me who held that title two weeks ago, it would have been a tossup between Ddl and Denzel Washington, and those guys will have one last chance to decide it… »


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Kenya Barris To Write Russell Simmons Biopic For Fox, ‘Life And Def: Sex Drugs Money + God’

10 hours ago

Exclusive: Fox has set Life And Def: Sex Drugs Money + God, a feature biopic that chronicles the rise of Russell Simmons from the inner city streets of Queens to one of the most influential music/fashion culture impresarios of his era. The studio has set to write it Kenya Barris, the creator of ABC's hit series Black-ish and co-writer of films that include Barbershop: The Next Cut and the upcoming comedy Girls Trip (written with Tracy Oliver). Pic is a co-production… »


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‘Destined’ Destined For Fall Release Via XLrator; Uncork’d Acquires ‘Almost Amazing’

10 hours ago

XLrator Media has acquired North American rights to Destined, the Cory Hardrict-starring drama written and directed by Qasim Basir that bowed at last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival. It will bow in theaters in the fall via XLrator’s Pace label. Hardrict (All Eyez On Me, American Sniper) plays both lead roles in the pic that tells parallel stories of Rasheed a rising star in the architectural community, and Sheed, a neighborhood drug dealer, and how even the smallest… »


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Court Frees Steven Mnuchin From Relativity Media-Related Fraud Case

10 hours ago

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s off the hook in a fraud charge tied to his tenure on the board of Relativity Media in a seven-month period leading up to its 2015 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The New York State Supreme Court yesterday granted his motion to dismiss fraud charges against him by Rka Film Financing. But the court rejected Mnuchin’s motion to slap sanctions on Rka. The bank consortium alleged in February that Mnuchin and 11 others at… »


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Film Academy Invites Record 774 New Members, From Gal Gadot To Betty White

10 hours ago

Updated with Cheryl Boone Isaacs interview:   The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have unveiled 774 new members (although 30 0f those names are duplicates over several branches) invited to join the Oscars organization, bringing the total membership closer to 8,500 -ish.  This is a record number, up from last year’s  683. The invitees come from 57 countries, the organization says in unveiling its list, with the list comprising 39% female and 30% people of color… »


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BFI Teams With Eon & Lucasfilm To Launch $25.5M Plan To Support Future Film Skills In UK

10 hours ago

The British Film Institute has joined forces with a raft of film industry leaders, including Eon Productions and Lucasfilm, to launch a new venture geared towards attracting new entrants into the UK film sector whilst also equipping them with the skills needed for the country's booming business. The new plan, called Future Film Skills – An Action Plan, has already earmarked £20 million ($25.5 million) of national lottery investment to kickstart proceedings. Speaking at… »


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Beau Willimon Will Be Next WGA East President

10 hours ago

House of Cards creator Beau Willimon will be the next president of the WGA East. Michael Winship, the guild's president since 2007, isn't seeking re-election, and Willimon is running unopposed in the guild's upcoming officers and council election. Also running unopposed are incumbent Vice President Jeremy Pikser and incumbent Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider. In the council races, the 10 candidates vying for six open freelance seats are Amy Sohn, David Handelman, Stu… »


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Universal, Mike De Luca Win ‘Spiderwick Chronicles’ Holly Black Novel ‘The Cruel Prince’

11 hours ago

Exclusive: Universal Pictures has won an auction for screen rights to The Cruel Prince, the new fantasy novel by The Spiderwick Chronicles author Holly Black. Michael De Luca will produce through his Michael De Luca Productions banner. The novel, which will be published in January by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, is the kick off to a fantasy novel series the author is calling Folk of the Air. The Cruel Prince follows the journey of a human girl who is abducted… »


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Newbie Smith Global Media Acquires Animated Pics ‘Gnome Alone’ & ‘Charming’

11 hours ago

Smith Global Media, the nascent distribution company founded by Will Smith’s brother Harry Smith, has acquired distribution rights to the animated family features Charming with a voice cast including Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama, and Gnome Alone. Both hail from Shrek producer John H. Williams and are financed and produced by 3Qu Media in association with Sc Films International. Fresh off inking a home entertainment deal at Sony, Smith Global Media plans a late 2017… »


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James Gunn Dispels Rumors He’s Producing A ‘Howard The Duck’ Movie For Marvel

12 hours ago

Guardians of the Galaxy franchise director James Gunn put to rest social media rumors this morning that he will produce a Howard the Duck movie for Marvel. The classic comic-book character is a favorite of Gunn’s, with Howard making cameos in both Gotg films. But in regards to producing, Gunn tweeted today: There is No Howard the Duck movie at the present time. There are a lot of comic characters I love but I'm not making films of them all. https://t.co/IYNzo9R2hq… »


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‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ Redband Trailer: It’s The Mother Of All Holidays

12 hours ago

Bad Moms pounced on an unsuspecting box office last year, pulling down $113M from a $20M budget. It was the first $100M domestic hit for STXfilms, which quickly greenlighted a sequel. And with late-June thermometers redder than a Utah primary map, here’s the first redband trailer for A Bad Moms Christmas. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn are reprising their roles as fed-up mothers who tend to the children, wrestle with the PTA hierarchy and stray to commit… »


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Aidan Turner Joins Sam Elliott In ‘The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot’

12 hours ago

Exclusive: Poldark star Aidan Turner has been set to co-star in The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot, the film already toplined by Sam Elliott from writer-director Robert D. Krzykowski and executive producer John Sayles. Shooting is now set to begin August 1 on the East Coast. The film tells the story of American soldier Calvin Barr (Turner), who leaves his true love behind to infiltrate enemy lines and kill Adolph Hitler in the heart of World War II. Decades… »


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