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Drew Goddard Producing ‘Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow’ for Fox

9 hours ago

Fox has tapped “The Martian” screenwriter Drew Goddard to adapt and produce fantasy story “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow” as a movie.

The studio bought the movie rights last year in a preemptive deal. The Jessica Townsend novel will be published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on Oct. 31.

Translation rights to the middle-grade series have sold in 27 countries so far. Daria Cercek is overseeing the project for 20th Century Fox.

The title character has to deal with being born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born — meaning she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks along with being doomed to die at midnight on her 11th birthday. But she’s then whisked away by a remarkable man named Jupiter North to a secret, magical city called Nevermoor — where she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, if she is »


- Dave McNary

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Antalya Festival: A Modest Christopher Walken on ‘King of New York,’ His Own Acting Style, and Michael Cimino

38 minutes ago

Antalya, Turkey —  Veteran character actor Christopher Walken, at the Antalya Fest to screen his 1990 cult hit, Abel Ferrara’s “King of New York,” recalled that his mafia kingpin role – like many of his turns – grew out of his roots in the streets of Queens.

“My old neighborhood when I was kid, that’s where I come from, so the movie was very close to me,” he said, speaking to audiences at the Ataturk Culture Park cinema. “Abel was lucky to have such good actors. It was a highlight of my life.”

As for how he fell into acting on screen, in this case manifesting in himself the distinctive mobster Frank White, Walken confessed, “I don’t know. I became an actor after being a dancer, kind of accidentally.”

Even after 100 roles, Walken admits he still isn’t sure he’s doing things right.

“I don’t think I do it like other actors do it. I just pretend »


- Will Tizard

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Ikebukuro Move Puts Tokyo Market in Growth Mode, says Yasushi Shiina

52 minutes ago

The relocation of the Tiffcom market from the Tokyo Bay area to a new venue in Ikebukuro, was needed for growth, says Yasushi Shiina, the market’s new chief.

Former director of the Tokyo International Film Festival and executive at media powerhouse Kadokawa, Shiina took over as the CEO of Tiffcom. His first move was to oversee the move to Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City shopping, entertainment and business complex.

“We were holding it in a hotel in Daiba, but the venue was small and our growth was limited for physical reasons,” he told Variety. “The Ikebukuro venue is larger and we can expect expansion in the future.”

Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, where Ikebukuro is located, is seeking to become a city of art and culture. “That plan will greatly change Ikebukuro. They are supporting Tiffcom as a core event for that plan,” Shiina said. “As Ikebukuro builds various cultural infrastructures in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tiffcom »


- Mark Schilling

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Tolga Karacelik, Director ‘Butterflies’

1 hour ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Tolga Karacelik, was born in Istanbul in 1981. He got a law degree in Turkey before moving to New York to study film, after writing some short stories and poems. His 2010 first feature “Toll Booth,” about a Turkish toll-station worker with a vivid imagination, scored critical kudos on the international fest circuit. He second film “Ivy,” set aboard a stranded cargo ship, premiered at Sundance in 2015, was shown at more than 30 festivals and scored multiple nods.

Karacelic’s upcoming third feature “Butterflies,” which is in the »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Ramin Matin, Producer, Director ‘Siren’s Call’

1 hour ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Ramin Matin studied communication arts at Loyola Marymount in the U.S. before getting a masters in film from Istanbul Bilgi University. In 2005 he co-founded Giyotin Films with Emine Yildirim. They started producing short films and internationally co-produced documentaries before shepherding Matin’s first feature “The Monster’s Dinner” in 2011, a societal satire set in the near future which won prizes in Antalya and several other fests. Followed “The Impeccables,” about two thirty-something sisters confronting their devastating past in the Aegean summer cottage of their »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Muge Ozen, Producer ‘When I’m Done Dying’

1 hour ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Muge Ozen started her career in the film business as a buyer for Turkish distributors D Productions and Mars Entertainment Group before becoming an executive producer, and eventually launching her own production shingle, Solis Film, in 2015. The company is dedicated to producing arthouse films that can travel internationally, favouring female writers and directors

Solis Film’s first project was ”Radiogram,” a first feature by Bulgarian director Rouzie Hassanova set in Bulgaria during the early 70’s when the communist regime considered rock’n’roll a national »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Turkish Cinema: The New Generation – Erol Mintas, Director ‘The Crows’

1 hour ago

Turkish cinema has become a regular fixture on the international festival circuit these days, represented most recently by first time features, such as Ceylon Ozcelik’s media censorship-themed “Inflame,” which bowed this year in Berlin, and Emre Yeksan’s dystopian drama “The Gulf” which launched from Venice.

Variety has profiled several other directors, writers and producers who signal that a new generation is emerging within Turkey’s vibrant, albeit turbulence-riddled, film scene.

Writer-director Erol Mintas made a major splash on the festival circuit with his first feature “Song of My Mother” which in 2014 played around the world and scored plenty of prizes, including best film and best actor nods in Sarajevo.

“Mother” is an understated meditation on love memory and the cultural identity of the Kurdish community in present-day Turkey.

“Crows,” which is being presented at the Antalya Film Forum’s Fiction Pitching Platform, appears to be a more ambitious project. It’s about »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Toronto Film Review: Dark Is the Night

3 hours ago

The casualties of being guilty before proven innocent come across loud and clear in “Dark Is the Night,” veteran independent filmmaker Adolfo Alix Jr.’s condemnation of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Initially predictable, showing nothing that the news hasn’t already reported, the film gains credibility as it demonstrates how drugs permeate ordinary lives in the Philippines, and hence cannot be eradicated by some quick fix. Nevertheless, seen alongside the heady experimentalism of younger compatriots, such as the politically charged hip-hop musical “Respeto,” Alix’s direction looks stuck in the dreary realism of Filipino slum movies in vogue a decade ago. Nevertheless, given its topical subject, the film should enjoy small-scale distribution in Europe via French art-house co-producer Swift Prods.

Last year, Brilliante Mendoza’s Cannes entry “Ma’ Rosa” exposed his country’s drug problem by showing how “ice” or crystal meth can be bought at mom-and-pop stores, and how police »


- Maggie Lee

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Film Review: ‘My Generation’

4 hours ago

There’s a tremendous amount of pleasure to be had in David Batty’s “My Generation,” a sloppy wet kiss to Michael Caine and British youth culture of the 1960s. Loaded with great footage from the era and accompanied by superbly cleaned-up music tracks from the Kinks, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many others, this love letter-as-documentary offers 85 minutes of good old fun. What it doesn’t do is posit any genuine analysis or even make a head-nod to diversity. But this is Caine’s narrative about the unapologetic working class taking over popular culture, and the writers as well as music mogul Simon Fuller, acting as top producer, have no interest in countering their star’s gleefully empowering chronicle of his youth. Voiceover interviews with such key players of the era as Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithfull, Twiggy and Mary Quant add to the overall feast, making the film an attractive offering for all platforms.

Britain »


- Jay Weissberg

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Halloween Costume Ideas 2017

7 hours ago

With Halloween around the corner, it’s only natural to look to entertainment for costume inspiration.

From Eleven’s new, curly-haired hairdo in “Stranger Things 2” to a “Game of Thrones” getup that will make you king of the night, here are 20 costume ideas inspired by every corner of pop culture. Film aficionados look no further than Pennywise from “It” or Wonder Woman herself, while music lovers can go as any version of Taylor Swift from her hit “Look What You Made Me Do” video.

For more entertainment-related Halloween costume ideas, click on the link above.

Related stories'Stranger Things' Season 2 Reviews: What the Critics Are SayingTV Review: 'Stranger Things' Season 2 on NetflixOur Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of Oct. 23, 2017 »


- Variety Staff

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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Tracking for $100 Million-Plus Opening in North America

8 hours ago

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok“ should dominate the early November box office with $100 million or more in its opening weekend in North America, early projections are showing.

The tentpole should provide a boost to what’s been a downbeat October for moviegoing. Overall box office for the year-to-date is down nearly 5%, according to comScore, with “It” being the only title in recent months to perform over expectations. “It” was one of five films to open above $100 million, joining “Beauty and the Beast,” “Wonder Woman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”

Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins.

The franchise launched in 2011 at Paramount, distributing the movie under its deal with Marvel. Its opening weekend was $65.7 million on its way »


- Dave McNary

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Film News Roundup: Live-Action ‘Dora the Explorer’ Moves Forward With Nick Stoller

8 hours ago

In today’s film news roundup, Paramount Players hires Nick Stoller for “Dora the Explorer,” Sean Patrick Flanery will star in racecar action film “Dirt Track,” Steve McQueen signs an overall deal with New Regency, “Mudbound” wins at Middleburg Film Festival, and Orion hires Kevin Shelby.

Project Development

The fledgling Paramount Players division has hired writer-director Nick Stoller to work on the script for a live-action “Dora the Explorer” movie.

Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are producing the movie, which has been in the works since 2015.

Details are under wraps beyond the movie centering on Dora as a teenager. The animated “Dora the Explorer” television series ran on Nickelodeon from 2000-2014 with 172 episodes aired following a young Latina girl who went on adventures around the world.

Platinum Dunes has a first-look deal with Paramount. Stoller’s writing credits include “Get Him to the Greek,” “Neighbors,” the Muppet movie reboots, »


- Dave McNary

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BMG Production Music Expands with Acquisition of Movie Marketing Mainstay

8 hours ago

BMG Production Music has acquired the flagship Los Angeles-based trailer tune house Immediate Music. Founded in 1993, Immediate is a trailblazer in building a company around the concept of creating original music for movie marketing. It later expanded to include teleproduction with 1 Revolution Music, which was part of the Bmgpm deal.

Coming on the heels of last month’s purchase by Bmgpm of Paris-based Axs, the move underscores a catalog building trend that has made music libraries a hot “get.” The Production Music Association values the global market for production music at $1 billion worldwide.

Immediate co-founder Jeff Fayman estimates his firm has roughly 4,500 unique compositions in its library, and “closer to 20,000 tracks when you factor in all the different versions, which might be piano-only, or no drums.” Fayman says the deal offers Immediate efficiencies of scale so he and co-founder Yoav Goren can hand off administrative and marketing functions to Bmgpm, and spend more »


- Paula Parisi

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Lionsgate Taps Rohit Jain as Head of Mumbai Office

8 hours ago

Lionsgate has named media executive and entrepreneur Rohit Jain, a 20-year veteran of the Indian media industry, to head its new office in Mumbai, India.

Lionsgate made the announcement Monday and indicated that the move is part of its strategy to expand in India.

“We’ve been focused on the enormous opportunity created by the Indian marketplace for years, and Rohit checks off all the boxes as the right executive to lead our business there,” said Lionsgate chief executive officer Jon Feltheimer. “Lionsgate brings to this territory a global content platform, an entrepreneurial mind set, and the agility of a next generation digital age company. Rohit is ideally qualified to leverage these strengths into accelerating growth and new business initiatives in the years ahead.”

Jain has served for the past seven years as the deputy CEO of Videocon d2h, a media company that he helped grow from a start-up to over $1 billion in annual revenues. He also »


- Dave McNary

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‘Hunting Ground’ Filmmakers Working on Hollywood Sexual Assault Documentary

9 hours ago

Academy Award nominees Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have begun work on an untitled documentary about sexual assault in Hollywood.

The exposé will examine abuse and cover-ups within the entertainment industry and focus on the behavior of “predatory perpetrators,” such as Harvey Weinstein. The project will also explore the culture that enables and protects them, provide a safe place for survivors to share their stories, and profile the many emerging voices for change.

An Oct. 5 New York Times report detailed Weinstein’s settlements in at least eight harassment cases, leading to multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and launching criminal investigations. Weinstein’s reps have denied that the sexual activity was non-consensual.

Dick received Academy Award nominations for 2005’s “Twist of Faith” and 2012’s “The Invisible War.” Ziering was nominated for an Oscar for producing “The Invisible War,” which deals with sexual assault in the military. Dick and Ziering then teamed on the 2014 campus rape documentary “The Hunting Ground.”

“Documentaries »


- Dave McNary

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Antalya Festival: Juliette Lewis on Harvey Weinstein, Acting with Robert De Niro, ‘Natural Born Killers’

10 hours ago

Antalya, Turkey — When asked whether she’s had trouble along the lines of the alleged sexual assaults of Harvey Weinstein, Juliette Lewis said producers were too frightened of her, even at age 18, to try anything.

“I scared everyone,” she told fans at the Antalya Film Fest. “Even at 15, people thought I might blow their head off. It’s a good power to have.”

Speaking to an audience who had just seen “Cape Fear,” the 1991 Martin Scorsese film that launched her career, Lewis added, “In any field, it’s nice when things get revealed. It’s important for any line of work that people get found out for their crimes.”

Having received the key to the city from Antalya’s mayor at the fest’s opening gala Saturday, Lewis reflected on the many lessons she gleaned from filming with Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Robert Mitchum.

“I was 18 when I did ‘Cape Fear’ but I’m playing »


- Will Tizard

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Matt Damon Says He Knew Harvey Weinstein Was a ‘Womanizer,’ Not a Predator

11 hours ago

George Clooney and Matt Damon continued to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, the mogul who helped launch both of their careers, alleging they didn’t know the extent of Weinstein’s misconduct.

“When people say like, ‘Everybody knew,’ Like, yeah, I knew he was an a—hole,” Damon told ABC News in a joint interview with Clooney. “He was proud of that. That’s how he carried himself. I knew he was a womanizer. I wouldn’t want to be married to the guy. But this level of criminal sexual predation is not something that I ever thought was going on. Absolutely not.”

Clooney said Weinstein talked to him about women he had affairs with, though Clooney didn’t believe him.

“I didn’t really think that they were going to have affairs with Harvey, quite honestly. And clearly they didn’t. But the idea that this predator, this assaulter, was out there »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Discop Africa Profile: Econet Media CEO Joseph Hundah Helms Fast-Growing Kwesé TV Empire

11 hours ago

What a difference a year makes. That’s all it took for the president and CEO of Econet Media, Joseph Hundah, to turn the upstart Kwesé TV network into a serious rival to MultiChoice’s DStv for the continent’s pay-tv throne. The former Mtg and MultiChoice exec has established Kwesé as a primetime player looking to expand beyond the 25 countries where it’s currently operating, with a multiplatform network that pairs its pay-tv operations with an aggressive mobile strategy. Locking down deals with the likes of Viceland and Espn has helped drive uptake while signaling its intent to shell out for premium content—especially in the lucrative arena of exclusive sports rights, long dominated by MultiChoice. Partnering with Netflix on the launch of Roku-powered Ott service Kwesé Play, Hundah has the company poised to cash in on increasing broadband penetration across the continent, with an eye toward targeting an urban youth demo that – like Kwesé itself »


- Christopher Vourlias

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Inaugural Indiewire Honors to Celebrate James Franco, Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani and More

12 hours ago

IndieWire, the definitive outlet for creative independence in film and TV, will launch IndieWire Honors — celebrating six of the biggest names in entertainment with an event November 2 in Los Angeles as well as video coverage and interviews with the honorees that will be featured on Indiewire.com.

“For more than 20 years, IndieWire has celebrated the fresh talent who help advance unique and original storytelling,” said IndieWire Editor in Chief Dana Harris. “This event highlights the best and brightest who remain true to their voice.”

“At the heart of this event is IndieWire’s mission to advocate for distinctive artists who push boundaries,” said IndieWire Publisher James Israel. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have this amazing group for our first IndieWire Honors.”

Selected by IndieWire’s editorial team, the first-ever honorees are familiar names on the cusp of even greater success. They include:

Mary J. Blige — Breakthrough Performance (Film). Mary J. Blige is already a musical »


- Variety Staff

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Uber Sexual Harassment Movie in the Works With Susan Fowler

13 hours ago

Good Universe is teaming up with Susan Fowler, who exposed Uber’s sexual harassment problems, for a movie about her experience at the company.

Fowler disclosed the ride-share company’s problems in a Feb. 19 blog post titled “Reflecting on One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber.” The post led to an internal investigation and CEO Travis Kalanick’s resignation.

Good Universe, which was recently bought by Lionsgate, has hired “Hidden Figures” screenwriter Allison Schroeder to write the script. Kristin Burr is producing.

Fowler wrote in her post, “When I joined Uber, the organization I was part of was over 25% women. By the time I was trying to transfer to another eng organization, this number had dropped down to less than 6%. Women were transferring out of the organization, and those who couldn’t transfer were quitting or preparing to quit. There were two major reasons for this: there was the organizational chaos, and there was »


- Dave McNary

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