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Ridley Scott’s ‘All the Money in the World’ Sold to Lucky Red for Italy

36 minutes ago

Rome — Italy’s Lucky Red has acquired Italian rights to Ridley Scott-directed kidnap drama “All The Money in the World” from Stx in the first announced sale of the hotly anticipated kidnapping thriller about the true 1973 abduction for ransom of J. Paul Getty III.

The potentially harrowing crime drama, which is currently shooting in Rome, stars Kevin Spacey as oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, who was reluctant to pay the ransom demanded by Italian kidnappers for his grandson; Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the kidnapped teenager’s mother; Mark Wahlberg as the ex-cia negotiator brought on board to help negotiate; and rising star Charlie Plummer in the role of J. Paul Getty III (pictured after his release) whose ear was cut off to coerce the family into paying.

In one of the standout deals of the Cannes market Stx in May took international rights to the potentially harrowing crime drama produced by Imperative Entertainment and Scott-Free »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Jack Black Comedy ‘The Polka King’ Lands at Netflix

43 minutes ago

Netflix has picked up global rights to Jack Black’s comedy “The Polka King” and plans to launch the film later this year.

The Polka King” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Maya Forbes directed the film from a script she wrote with Wally Wolodarsky.

Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove, and Vanessa Bayer also star in the story of local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan. The movie is based on the Joshua Brown and John Mikulak documentary, “The Man Who Would be Polka King,” which detailed Lewan’s rise and fall after persuading fans to invest in a Ponzi scheme, which landed him in jail.

Producers are David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Wally Wolodarsky, Jack Black and Priyanka Mattoo. Production companies are ShivHans Pictures, Red Hour Film, Permut Presentations, and Electric Dynamite.

Dennis Harvey gave “The Polka King” a strong review at Sundance: “One of those conspicuously talented comics »


- Dave McNary

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DMG Invests in Super League Gaming, Launches eSports Division (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Dmg Entertainment is launching a new eSports division and has invested in Super League Gaming, Variety has learned.

The move comes as Dmg has been diversifying in recent months, moving beyond backing movies and shows to invest in emerging media platforms such as virtual reality. Dmg is best known for backing the likes of “Looper” and “Iron Man 3.” The new division is staffing up and sees the Super League Gaming equity stake as part of a larger strategic partnership.

eSports is one of the fastest growing sections of the gaming space. It involves organized multi-player competitions centered around popular video games such as “Hearthstone” and “Call of Duty.” The eSports market is projected to have grossed $463 million in 2016 and is expected to generate $1.1 billion in revenues by 2019, according to market researcher Newzoo.

Super League Gaming is trying to tap into that burgeoning audience by hosting competitions in movie theaters. Last year, »


- Brent Lang

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Elvis Presley Manager Biopic ‘The Colonel’ in Development (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Spencer Proffer, Steve Binder, and Joe Berlinger are developing a feature film about Elvis Presley’s manger Colonel Tom Parker.

Production is slated for early 2018. Parker, who died in 1997 at age 87, arrived in America as a 20-year old undocumented Dutch immigrant, and took great pains to hide his past. Before leaving Holland, he might have committed murder. »


- Dave McNary

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Minions Mob Snapchat in ‘Despicable Me 3’ Augmented-Reality Promo

2 hours ago

Snap has snagged a chunk of Universal-Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable Me 3” marketing budget.

The impish Minions from the animation franchise are starring in three sponsored selfie Snapchat Lenses — including one of the first sponsored “world lenses” sold by Snap — which are running Monday in the U.S. for a 24-hour period. The studio’s augmented-reality campaign is aimed at pushing Snapchat’s predominantly Gen Z and millennial user base into theaters this coming weekend.

Snapchat’s world lens employs a smartphone’s outward-facing camera to incorporate floating objects superimposed in a user’s environment. In the The “Despicable Me 3” execution, Snapchatters can adopt the guise of the movie’s supervillain, Balthazar Bratt (voiced by Trey Parker), and pop balloons floating in front of them to reveal Minions and other prizes.

Related

Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig Welcome ‘Despicable Me 3’ With ’80s Field Day

The two others standard Snapchat lenses feature Minions invading two of the »


- Todd Spangler

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Film Review: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

2 hours ago

In the original “Planet of the Apes” movies, Caesar and his simian co-stars were buried beneath layers of prosthetic makeup, severely limiting their ability to emote. In Fox’s recently rebooted “Apes” trilogy (three and counting), the computer-generated chimps appear more human than the homo sapiens — which is clearly what the series has been working up to. In purely technical terms, director Matt Reeves more than achieves that goal, although it requires rigging the screenplay and reducing the human characters to crass two-dimensional stereotypes in the process.

Dawn has risen, and “War for the Planet of the Apes” picks up at a point where the world has been divided into two camps: those deeply impressed by all that directors Rupert Wyatt and Reeves have done with the franchise, and those who couldn’t care less. If you already find yourself on the side of the “Apes” enthusiasts (a fittingly militant lot), then “War” will likely be a »


- Peter Debruge

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Prayer-Based Drama ‘A Question of Faith’ Lands at Pure Flix

5 hours ago

Silver Lining Entertainment’s prayer-based drama “A Question of Faith” has been acquired by Pure Flix for a theatrical release on Sept. 29.

A Question of Faith” centers on three families from different cultures who live in the same community. They are complete strangers living vastly separate lives until a texting and driving accident thrusts them onto converging paths where they discover love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

Along with a message of faith, the storyline touches on racial prejudice, the consequences of texting and driving, and also addresses the debate surrounding organ donation.

The cast includes Richard T. Jones (“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married,”), Kim Fields (“The Facts of Life”), C. Thomas Howell, GregAlan Williams, Christian recording artist Jaci Velasquez, Renee O’Connor (“Xena: Warrior Princess”), and T.C. Stallings (“War Room”).

A Question of Faith” is directed by Kevin Otto from a script by Ty Manns. Angela White »


- Dave McNary

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Sky Deutschland, Constantin Film Strike New Movie Deal

6 hours ago

Sky’s German pay TV operation has inked a new deal with Constantin Film, securing its movies across Germany and Austria.

The multiyear deal see Sky and Constantin extend their movies deal. Sky gets Constantin titles including “Fack Ju Göhte 3,” “Das Pubertier – Der Film,” and “Gorillas,” in the first pay TV window. Library titles including “The Grudge,” and the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” reboot are covered by the deal.

The agreement hands Sky linear pay TV rights for its movie channels, and also covers on-demand, meaning movies will also be available on streaming, on-demand and download services including Sky On Demand, Sky Go, and Sky Store.

Sky’s acquisitions executive Rainer Ingber, said: “By continuing our cooperation with Constantin Film, Sky customers will also be able to enjoy the most popular German films in the future – whether as an exclusive TV premiere or on demand.”

Franz Woodtli, director of home entertainment, cinema »


- Stewart Clarke

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