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How Roger Moore Made the Role of James Bond His Own

39 minutes ago

Few actors have come across quite so invincible onscreen as Roger Moore, the James Bond star who dodged death by sharks (“Live and Let Die”), yo-yo buzzsaw (“Octopussy”), space lasers (“Moonraker”) and a demented Christopher Walken (“A View to a Kill”), barely so much as creasing his tuxedo in the process.

Moore played 007 in seven movies over the course of a dozen years, dodging more bullets — golden and otherwise — than we could possibly count. But sooner or later, fate was sure to catch up with the debonair star. All men are mortal, of course, but not so Bond, who’s been saving the world since 1962 (“Dr. No”), and with his passing, Moore became the first big-screen Bond to leave us.

He was actually the third star to play the part, taking over the role from Sean Connery in 1973, and unlike Australian model George Lazenby (who played 007 just once, in “On »


- Peter Debruge

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Cannes Facetime: Helmer Sergei Loznitsa, ‘A Gentle Creature’

3 hours ago

The Kiev-raised, Berlin-based helmer-writer Sergei Loznitsa (“My Joy,” “In the Fog”) returns to the Cannes competition for the third time in a row with his latest feature, “A Gentle Creature.”

What inspired the storyline?

I was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s short story “Krotkaya” [“A Gentle Creature”]. It’s about a relationship between a torturer and his victim, who, in Dostoyevsky’s story, happen to be a husband and a wife. One could consider “A Gentle Creature” as a second part of a diptych [the first being “My Joy”]. My intention was to study the mythology of the Russian [ex-Soviet] society, the cultural context, the mentality of the people who inhabit this surreal territory.

You’ve mentioned before that your years traveling through provincial Russia while working for the St. Petersburg Documentary Studios inspired “My Joy.” Did those travels also influence “A Gentle Creature?”

Yes, of course. It [was] during these journeys that I felt the spirit of the country and of its people. »


- Alissa Simon

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Cannes: Cite Films Launches Sales on ‘The Desert Bride’

4 hours ago

Fulfilling expectations, Paris-based Cite Films has closed key early major territories at this year’s Cannes Film Market on Un Certain Regard player “The Desert Bride,” one of the highest-profile Latin American movies on the Riviera.

Buying distributors include some of the strongest arthouse players in their territories, such as Spain’s Golem, Brazil’s Imovision and Cineart for Benelux.

Switzerland’s Filmcoopi, Greece’s Strada, and China’s Time In Portrait Ent. have also stepped up to the plate for the feature debut of Argentine directorial duo Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato, a romantic road movie which is “the feel-good story of a woman’s metamorphosis, the transformation of her life and vision of herself, made delicately step-by-step, about someone who was a bird in a cage and finds her freedom and rediscovers life,” Cité Films founder Raphael Berdugo said at Cannes.

“The Desert Bride” has received “serious interest” from the U. »


- John Hopewell

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Glocal In Progress Launches at 2017 San Sebastian Fest

4 hours ago

Cannes  — Industry showcase Glocal in Progress will launch at September’s 2017 San Sebastian’s Festival aiming to lend larger visibility to movies made in Europe but not in one of its big-six market languages – English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and German.

Three features in post-production stage will be screened to an audience of producers, distributors, sales agents and festival programmers.

A new activity on San Sebastian’s industry program, Glocal in Progress will run parallel to the festival’s 32nd edition of Films in Progress and the 7th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.

A call for submissions runs through June 30. International co-productions are admitted if movies are majority European.

European non-hegemonic languages are ones other than English, Spanish, French, German, Italian or Russian, such as the Basque-language movie used in “Aundiya” (pictured), a nineteenth century two brothers drama, one of whom is the tallest man in Europe. It is sold at Cannes by Film Factory Ent. »


- Emilio Mayorga

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‘Becoming Bond’ Director Sees George Lazenby and Daniel Craig as Kindred Spirits

5 hours ago

Every serious 007 fan has a particular film that hooked them on the franchise. For Josh Greenbaum, the writer and director of Hulu’s new docudrama “Becoming Bond,” that film was the Pierce Brosnan blockbuster “GoldenEye.”

“That’s the one that did it for me,” says Greenbaum at a premiere screening at Cinefamily. “As many people my age will attest, the Nintendo game version of that film was huge. It took the movie and turned it into a first-person shooter where you could walk around the sets of a real James Bond film and kill your friends.”

Becoming Bond” tells the unlikely story of George Lazenby, a charismatic Australian fashion model who fibbed his way into starring in the 1969 classic “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Though many Bond aficionados consider it one of the best entries in the series, Lazenby stunned audiences around the world when he walked away from »


- Matthew Chernov

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Joel Edward Dean, Hollywood Producer and Agent, Dies at 77

8 hours ago

Veteran Hollywood producer and agent Joel Edward Dean died May 13 in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia. He was 77.

Dean, a New York native, broke into show business in 1960, when he started in the mailroom as a runner/agent trainee at the William Morris Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif. He went on to work at Apa, ICM, and TalentWorks.

His clients included Joan Rivers, David HasselhoffPolly BergenFaye Dunaway, Rita Moreno, Donna Mills, Randal KleiserLarry Hagman, Linda Lavin, Tony Roberts, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, George Hamilton, Mario Lopez, James Brolin, and Elaine Stritch.

Dean was also involved in producing “The Blue Lagoon,” starring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins; “Summer Lovers,” starring Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher; and “Grease,” starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta.

Dean became vice president of talent at TalentWorks in 2005 and retired in 2013. He is survived by his sister. Funeral arrangements are pending. »


- Dave McNary

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Roland Emmerich Directing ‘Midway’ Battle Movie With China’s Bona on Board

9 hours ago

Roland Emmerich will direct World War II battle movie “Midway” with China’s Bona Film Group leading the investment for The Mark Gordon Co.

The project was unveiled Tuesday at the Cannes Film Festival. Bona will distribute the film in China and retains worldwide distribution rights, excluding the U.S. CAA brokered the deal and will represent U.S. distribution rights.

The Battle of Midway in the South Pacific was a decisive naval battle in June, 1942, six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Navy defeated an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy near Midway Atoll after U.S. codebreakers were able to pinpoint the time and place of the attack. The damage to the Japanese fleet was so extensive that it never recovered and military historians regard the battle as a turning point in the war.

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Watch the New Trailer for Christopher Nolan »


- Dave McNary

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Doug Liman Parts Ways With Justice League Dark Movie (Exclusive)

9 hours ago

Fans of the “Dark Universe,” a.k.a. “Justice League Dark,” comics are going to have to wait a bit longer for the film adaptation, as it just lost its director.

Sources tell Variety that director Doug Liman has left the project. Insiders say the reason is schedule-related, as Liman is also attached to direct Lionsgate’s “Chaos Walking,” which recently received a greenlight. Sources say the studio has already started meeting with other directors and should have a replacement for Liman lined up shortly.

Warner Bros., the studio behind the adaptation, had no comment.

While plot details are being kept under wraps, “Dark Universe” revolves around a dark Justice League team that consists of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon. The film will play a major role in the new D.C. Cinematic Universe.

Scott Rudin is producing. Michael Gilio is writing the script.

Constantine »


- Justin Kroll

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Sam Claflin to Star Opposite Shailene Woodley in Survival Drama ‘Adrift’ (Exclusive)

10 hours ago

Me Before You” and “Hunger Games” star Sam Claflin is in negotiations to join Shailene Woodley in Stx Entertaiment’s survival drama “Adrift,” sources tell Variety.

Miles Teller was initially in talks to reunite with his “Divergent” and “Spectacular Now” co-star in the movie, but passed on the project due to scheduling conflicts.

Adrift” is written and produced by Aaron and Jordan Kandell. Baltasar Kormákur will direct and produce the film under his Rvk Studios banner, with production set to begin in June.

Woodley signed on to star in “Adrift” during the Berlin Film Festival, where Stx began selling rights.

Adrift” is based on the true story of Tami Oldham, who, after being knocked unconscious by the largest hurricane in the history of the Pacific Ocean, awakens to find her fiancé Richard Sharp badly injured, their boat in ruins, and no means of communication or navigation. She must race against »


- Justin Kroll

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Elizabeth Banks’ ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Reboot Gets Summer 2019 Release Date

11 hours ago

Sony Pictures has slated Elizabeth Banks’ “Charlie’s Angels” reboot for a June 7, 2019, release. The studio has also dated “The Nightingale” for Aug. 10, 2018, and an untitled Sony Animation film for July 24, 2020.

Sony has led the charge in adding more female directors to its roster, with Catherine Hardwicke directing its “Miss Bala” remake and Lucia Aniello helming its upcoming comedy “Rough Night.”

Banks will also produce via her Universal-based Brownstone Productions with her husband and producing partner, Max Handelman.

“Charlie’s Angels” premiered in 1976 on ABC and lasted five seasons, with Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, and Jaclyn Smith portraying private detectives working for a benefactor named Charlie. Cheryl Ladd replaced Fawcett, with Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts joining the show in later years.

Sony produced a 2000 movie with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu, »


- Justin Kroll

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Cannes Film Review: ‘Rodin’

11 hours ago

On the centenary of Auguste Rodin’s death, Jacques Doillon delivers a useful educational tool for the armchair traveler too lazy to go to a museum. Or read a book. “Rodin” could also be watched as prep work before going to the Musée Rodin, a partner in the film’s production. What it’s not so good for is a cinema audience expecting more than a plodding two-hour lesson in the artist’s life. Given Doillon’s recent films (“Love Battles”), one could have imagined this would have more flesh pounding than clay kneading, but no, his “Rodin” is a meticulously reverential, handsomely lit and very dull biopic about the 19th century’s most revolutionary sculptor. Given the artist’s cachet among culture vultures, it’s likely some art houses will book a limited run, but reviews won’t be positive.

Those retaining fond memories of Bruno Nuytten’s “Camille Claudel »


- Jay Weissberg

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‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Sailing for $80 Million Launch, ‘Baywatch’ at $40 Million

11 hours ago

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is poised to dominate Memorial Day moviegoing, while Dwayne Johnson’s “Baywatch” should deliver decent results during the holiday.

Forecasts place the fifth iteration of Disney’s “Pirates” franchise at about $80 million at 4,276 North American locations during the Friday-Monday weekend. The international launch — which begins Wednesday — should deliver between $150 million and $175 million.

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” is only the third wide release film in 2017 for Disney, which has so far seen blockbuster results from “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” with a combined $1.8 billion in global box office so far. The estimated budget for “Dead Men” is $230 million, so Disney needs to see the same kind of ticket sales.

Related

‘Baywatch’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ Dominate Social Media Buzz

Paramount’s “Baywatch” is tracking for an opening at around $40 million at about 3,500 domestic »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes Film Review: ’24 Frames’

12 hours ago

What’s the most romantic song ever written? If I told you it was “Love Never Dies,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber (the title number from his unsuccessful 2010 musical), you’d probably say I was nuts. But when you come out of the theater after seeing “24 Frames,” the final film by Abbas Kiarostami, that song — which I had never heard before — takes up residence in your mental jukebox in a way that’s so haunting, for a while it crowds out all the other beauty you’ve heard.

“24 Frames” isn’t a narrative. It’s a series of 24 four-and-a-half-minute segments, most of them depicting animals in nature, each one unfolding inside a single static frame. “Love Never Dies,” performed by the Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins, is played during the final segment, which, coming after a lot of quieter ones, is a stunning and majestic Kiarostami statement about love, cinema, death, technology, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Buys Cowboy Drama ‘The Rider’ (Exclusive)

12 hours ago

Sony Pictures Classics has landed North American rights to “The Rider,” Variety has learned.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight to strong reviews on Saturday. It’s the second project from writer-director Chloe Zhao, who made the 2015 Sundance drama “Songs My Brother Taught Me.”

The Rider” tells the story of a cowboy (played by Brady Jandreau) who embarks on a road trip through America after a near-death accident. In his review for Variety, Guy Lodge wrote that “The Rider” “could be the stuff of many a corn-syrup country ballad, but gains artful integrity from Zhao’s favored docu-fiction technique — roughly tracing a script around the experiences of her non-professional actors — and dusty-dreamy visual style.”

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Cannes Film Festival: 7 Biggest Winners and Losers

It was produced by Caviar and Highway Films, including Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, and Mollye Asher.

It’s been a slow Cannes Film Festival, »


- Ramin Setoodeh

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Poll: What’s Your Favorite Roger Moore Bond Film?

12 hours ago

Roger Moore, known for his portrayal of James Bond in seven movies over the course of more than a decade, has died at the age of 89 after a short battle with cancer.

In the wake of the news, fans are looking back at his turns at 007, which all started after Moore took over for Sean Connery in 1973’s “Live and Let Die.” The actor’s more humorous take would resonate with even the most loyal of Connery fans — and helped revive the franchise at the box office.

He would next appear in 1974’s “The Man With the Golden Gun” and then in 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me,” which rocked Bond into blockbuster status with $185.4 million worldwide. Audiences continued to buy tickets, and heap praise on Moore, for “Moonraker” and “For Your Eyes Only.”

His last two films were “Octopussy” and “A View to Kill,” after which he retired his license to kill. »


- Variety Staff

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Cannes: Netflix Movies Dominate Early Digital Buzz Amid Screening Controversy

12 hours ago

Netflix might not be returning to the Cannes Film Festival next year, but its presence at this year’s fest has garnered the lion’s share of digital chatter.

From May 17-22, Netflix’s “Okja,” a sci-fi film from Bong Joon-ho about a young girl battling a giant corporation over her massive pet pig, had far and away the highest digital engagement out of all the movies and TV shows screened at Cannes so far, according to marketing technology company Amobee. The next highest buzz-generator was another Netflix movie, Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” starring Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler, which had 55% the level of engagement as “Okja” (see relative rankings below).

A big reason for all the attention on Netflix: the outcry from the French film community about the streamer being included in the festival despite Netflix not releasing the titles theatrically in the country, »


- Todd Spangler

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‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

12 hours ago

In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.”

Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.56 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings across 30 networks. (Spend figures are based on estimates generated from May 15-21. Estimates may be updated after the chart is posted as new information becomes available.) Understandably, Twentieth Century Fox is targeting a family-friendly crowd, with network-specific spend prioritized across Nick, E! and Cartoon Network, and show-specific spend for airings during The Voice, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Loud House.

Just behind “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” in second place: Paramount Pictures’ “Baywatch,” which saw 1,098 national ad airings across 38 networks, with an estimated media value of $5.5 million.

TV ad placements for Universal Pictures’ “The »


- iSpot.tv

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Cannes: Breaking Glass Pictures Snags Carlos Lechuga’s ‘Santa & Andres’ (Exclusive)

13 hours ago

Breaking Glass Pictures has snapped up the North American distribution rights to Carlos Lechuga’s political drama “Santa & Andres,” which has been banned in Cuba.

Sales agent Alfredo Calvino of Habanero Film Sales inked the deal with Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff at the Cannes Marché du Film. Breaking Glass plans a limited theatrical release in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by a release on DVD and VOD.

“The film has had an extensive festival round after it premiered last year at Tiff [Toronto Int’l Film Fest] and won the Best Performance Award at Miff [Miami Int’l Film Festival], among others,” said Calvino.

Lechuga’s Cuban-Colombian-French co-production recently also took both best Ibero-American fiction feature and actress for its lead Lola Amores, as well as a Premio Maguey Special Mention for male lead Eduardo Martinez, at the Guadalajara Int’l Film Fest in March. A week before, both leads picked up a best performance award at »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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Cannes Film Review: ‘The Workshop’

13 hours ago

For how long can a film level-headedly discuss the rules and mechanics of a thriller before becoming something of a thriller itself? That’s the teasing hook, but not even the most loaded question, dangled by “The Workshop,” a sly, supple and repeatedly surprising collision of literary, moral and political lines of debate that marks an enthralling return to form for writer-director Laurent Cantet. Gathering a diverse group of teens to intellectually tussle in a structured educational environment — in this case, a summer creative writing workshop moderated by an acclaimed novelist — the film initially recalls the lively docu-fiction form of Cantet’s 2008 Palme d’Or winner “The Class.” Yet Cantet isn’t out to make the same film twice, deftly wrongfooting viewers as focus is pulled by the group’s most reactionary, volatile member, brilliantly played by newcomer Matthieu Lucci. The tense, excitingly topical result is entirely its own animal, »


- Guy Lodge

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Ice Cube to Star in High-Tech Crime Thriller From ‘Patriots Day’ Writer

13 hours ago

Ice Cube will star in Universal’s high-tech crime thriller “Before I Disappear” from “Jason Bourne” producer Captivate Entertainment.

Captivate’s Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner are producing. The screenplay, written by “Patriots Day” scribe Josh Zetumer, centers on a clandestine high-tech version of the witness protection program, which makes clients disappear by offering them seamless exits into new lives.

Related

Ice Cube, ‘Hamilton’ Director Team on Live-Action ‘Oliver Twist’ for Disney

“When Ice Cube appears on screen, there is an instant credibility that is undeniable,” Smith said. “We’re excited to be working with such a talented actor on this project.”

Cube was most recently seen in “Fist Fight” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” He starred last year in “Ride Along 2” and “Barbershop: The Next Cut.” Universal is also developing “Ride Along 3” for him and Kevin Hart. Cube was a producer on “Straight Outta Compton” and on the “Ride Along” franchise. »


- Dave McNary

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