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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’: Three New Posters Revealed

31 minutes ago

While some DC comics fans flock to watch the new “Justice League” trailer, the Marvel crowd can sneak a peek at three new posters for “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

In one photo, the webbed hero is seen lounging on a riverbank wearing headphones. “Homework can wait,” the caption reads. “The city can’t.” In the second, the foreground shows the hero hanging onto Avengers Tower, while the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center linger in the background. “Straight A superhero,” the caption says. Finally, Spidey is seen latched onto a sign for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The “Spider-Man: Homecoming” Twitter account sent out the caption, “Quickest way to get home.”

Related

Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Trailer: Peter Parker Teams with Iron Man in Marvel Reboot

Tom Holland stars as the titular hero in the film directed by Jon Watts based on a script the helmer co-wrote with Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley, »


- Seth Kelley

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New ‘Justice League’ Trailer Brings the Superhero Team Together (Watch)

2 hours ago

Several character teasers later, a new “Justice League” trailer was finally released Saturday morning that unites the team.

“We have to be ready,” Ben Affleck’s Batman says in a voiceover. “You, me, the others — there’s an attack coming from far way.”

Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman replies, “Not coming, Bruce, it’s already here. The others … where are they?”

What follows is an epic montage of the heroes teaming up to battle enemies while a cover of the Beatles’ “Come Together” blares in the background.

Related

Watch All the ‘Justice League’ Character Teaser Trailers

Affleck, Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher star in the Warner Bros. tentpole. Amy Adams, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, and Willem Dafoe will also appear in the film. While Henry Cavill’s Superman is expected to appear in the movie as well, he has been missing from recent promotions, including the latest trailer. »


- Seth Kelley

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Box Office: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Repeats No. 1 on Friday

3 hours ago

Power Rangers” is the new superhero film on the block, but “Beauty and the Beast” still has the most guests.

The Disney live-action adaptation starring Emma Watson grabbed an additional $23.5 million on Friday night from 4,210 theaters. After conquering box office records in its first frame, the movie could capture an additional $90 million by the end of its second weekend, which would put its domestic total well above $300 million. Its global total after Friday also waltzed past the $500 million milestone.

Related

Film Review: ‘Power Rangers

Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers,” meanwhile, morphed to $15 million of Friday from 3,693 theaters. The reboot of the popular ’90s TV show should land solidly in second this weekend with over $40 million.

The other two major openings — Sony’s “Life” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, and Warner Bros.’ “Chips” from Dax Shepard — are showing moderate-to-low interest from theater-goers. On Friday, the former made $4.3 million from 3,146 spots, while »


- Seth Kelley

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Paulina Garcia’s ‘The Desert Bride’ Tops Toulouse’s Films in Progress

4 hours ago

“The Desert Bride,” an Argentine second-chance drama from first-time helmers starring Berlinale Best Actress winner Paulina Garcia (“Gloria”), took both big prizes at the 31st Films in Progress which wrapped at France’s Toulouse Cinelatino Fest on Friday.

A gateway to big fest selection, so major arthouse or crossover sales agent pick-ups, Films in Progress also saw plaudits for two conflictive family dramas, Argentine cause-celebre based “Marilyn,” from Martin Rodriguez Redondo, and “Jasmines in Lidice,” directed by Venezuela’s Ruben Sierra Salles.

The 31st Films in Progress also brought international recognition for a new production axis emerging in the southernmost parts of South America between Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, benefitting from both public-sector bilateral co-production funds and the fast-consolidating relations between top art-house producers in the region. This year’s Toulouse winners are produced, among many more companies, by Vanessa Ragone’s Haddock Films, producer of not only Academy Award »


- John Hopewell

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Power Ranger R.J. Cyler Joins ‘White Boy Rick’ Cast

14 hours ago

R.J. Cyler, who stars as the Blue Power Ranger in the “Power Rangers” movie, has joined the cast of the Sony-Studio 8 drug dealer drama “White Boy Rick.”

The film stars newcomer Richie Merritt as Ricky Wershe Jr.and Matthew McConaughey as Ricky’s father, Richard Wershe Sr. Merritt was discovered in Baltimore during an extensive nationwide talent search.

Previously announced cast features Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane  as the FBI agents who begin working with Wershe as a confidential informant; Brian Tyree Henry as a narcotics detective Officer Jackson; Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie  as Wershe’s grandparents and Bel Powley as sister.

Cyler will portray Rudell Curry, one of the drug dealers. He previously starred in “Me and Earl and The Dying Girl” as Earl and joined the “Power Rangers” cast in 2015. Kyanna Simone Simpson (“Fist Fight”) has also joined the cast.

Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic, »


- Dave McNary

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WGA Negotiators Call for Strike Authorization

15 hours ago

Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have asked their 12,000 members for strike authorization, following two weeks of negotiations.

The WGA leaders have asserted that the talks with the Alliance of Motion Pictures & Television Producers, which launched March 13, have been unproductive and contain two major rollbacks in the guild’s health plan. The AMPTP accused the WGA of breaking off the talks.

“First, they have demanded that we make cuts to the plan – $10 million in the first year alone,” the WGA negotiating team said in a letter to members. “In return, they will allow us to fund the plan with money diverted from our own salaries. More, they’ve demanded the adoption of a draconian measure in which any future shortfalls to the plan would be made up by automatic cuts in benefits – and never by increases in employer contributions.”

“This, too, is unacceptable. The package, taken as a whole, »


- Dave McNary

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Dakota Johnson’s ‘Suspiria’ Remake Gets Backing From ‘Manchester by the Sea’ Production Company (Exclusive)

16 hours ago

K Period Media, the production company that financed “Manchester by the Sea,” is co-financing the upcoming remake of the horror thriller “Suspiria” with Amazon Studios, Variety has learned exclusively.

The remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 Italian cult classic stars Dakota Johnson as a young ballerina who travels to a prestigious dance academy in Europe, only to discover, following a series of increasingly grisly murders, that it’s a front for something far more sinister and supernatural. Jessica Harper toplined the original movie.

Suspiria” is directed by Luca Guadagnino (“A Bigger Splash”) and also stars Tilda Swinton, Chloe Moretz, and Mia Goth.

Frenesy Film Company, Mythology Entertainment, First Sun Films, and Memo Films are producing. Amazon Studios has acquired the worldwide distribution rights.

K Period Media is headed by Kimberly Steward, who was one of the five producers nominated for a best picture Academy Award for “Manchester by the Sea,” along with Matt Damon, »


- Dave McNary

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Thomas Lennon to Star in ‘Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich’ (Exclusive)

17 hours ago

Thomas Lennon and Udo Kier will star in “Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich,” a new take on the durable horror franchise.

The Cinestate production begins principal photography in Dallas next week. Jenny Pellicer, Nelson FranklinCharlyne Yi, Alex Beh, Barbara Crampton, Tina Parker, Skeeta Jenkins and Michael Pare are also starring.

Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund (“Wither”) will direct from a script written by “Bone Tomahawk” screenwriter S. Craig Zahler. Dallas Sonnier and Amanda Presmyk are producing for Cinestate, along with Jack Heller of Assemble Media. “Transformers” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian of Di Bonaventura Pictures are also producers on the project along with frequent Laguna & Wiklund partner David Liljeblad.

Charles Band (the original franchise producer) is executive producing, as are Wayne Godfrey and Robert Jones of The Fyzz Facility, Jonathan Feuer of Flexibon Films, Red Sanders of Red Productions, Will Evans of Cinestate, Adam Donaghey, Johnathan Brownlee and Rick Prince. »


- Dave McNary

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Film Review: ‘Tickling Giants’

17 hours ago

I would argue that the way we watch political documentaries has changed in the last two months. Before that, if I had seen a movie like “Tickling Giants,” an ebullient portrait of Bassem Youssef, the heart-surgeon-turned-comedian who became known as “the Jon Stewart of Egypt” (or, at least, he did until his show was squashed by the regime and he felt like he had to escape the country), I would have been drawn to Youssef’s barbed glee and charismatic cunning, and to his extraordinary fearlessness. But I also would have thought, as a documentary about a repressive government can lead one to think, “How lucky I am to live in America,” and also, “There’s no way that could ever happen here! We value our freedom way too much.”

I still believe those statements are true, yet after two months of President Trump — his menacing autocratic style, his overt hostility to an unrestricted press, »


- Owen Gleiberman

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‘Power Rangers’ Review Roundup: What the Critics Are Saying

17 hours ago

“Saban’s Power Rangers” (or, simply, “Power Rangers,” though its official title pays proprietary homage to the franchise’s co-creator) is careening into theaters for its March 24 release.

Although the bulk of preliminary critiques yo-yo between appreciation for the film’s sugary overtones and apathy toward its lackluster subject matter, it seems as though this live-action reboot of an inexplicably cherished early 90’s after-school animated series couldn’t quite find its niche amid the modern-day deluge of superhero films flooding the big screen. Critics say the film does attempt to pander to its long-established fan base with an air of nostalgia that alludes to the vacuous, cartoon-y decades of yore. But, it oscillates too heavily between frothy, heavy-handed “life lessons” and lukewarm cracks at sophisticated character development to carry any real substance.

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman

The characters in “Power Rangers” have all the depth and idiosyncrasy of walking talking robo-teen action figures. »


- Emily Mae Czachor

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Keira Knightley Presumed ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Would Be a ‘Disaster,’ ‘Love Actually’ Director Says

17 hours ago

As Richard Curtis prepares to launch the upcoming quasi-sequel to his 2003 hit “Love Actually,” he took a moment to reflect on the triumphant careers of the film’s cast.

In an op-ed written for The Radio Times, the “Love Actually” writer-director said it has been a “particular delight” for him to see how “brilliantly” the cast has blossomed over the years. He went on to recall a, retrospectively, comical comment from star Keira Knightley: She said her next project was “some pirate thing – probably a disaster,” of course referring to the hugely successful “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise that eventually catapulted the actress’ career.

Related Content Watch the ‘Love Actually’ Cast Reunite in New Teaser for Red Nose Day Special

Curtis also commented on the success of the film’s other stars and their subsequent careers: “Andrew Lincoln had never come across, let alone killed, the Walking Dead. Chiwetel Ejiofor »


- Sarah Ahern

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Robert Rodriguez in Talks to Direct ‘Escape From New York’ Remake

18 hours ago

Robert Rodriguez is in negotiations to direct the remake of John Carpenter’s iconic “Escape From New York.”

Fox is targeting summer for the start of production, with Michael Ireland overseeing the film. The project has been in the works at the studio since 2015, when Fox obtained the remake rights to “Escape From New York,” starring Kurt Russell as “Snake” Plissken. StudioCanal sold the rights to Fox, which topped several bids.

Carpenter will exec produce the reboot. Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman’s The Picture Company is also producing. Neil Cross, creator of the BBC crime series “Luther,” wrote the script.

Related

Bold Films, Robert Rodriguez Developing Horror Movie ‘Blood’ (Exclusive)

The original “Escape From New York,” released in 1981, took place in a dystopian 1997 Manhattan after it had been turned into a maximum security prison. The story centered on Plissken being recruited to rescue the U.S. president (played by »


- Dave McNary

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Health Care Plan Problems Take Center Stage in Writers Guild-Studios’ Contract Talks

18 hours ago

The halls of Congress aren’t the only place where a strenuous debate over the fate of health care has taken place this week.

The financial strain on the Writers Guild of America’s health care plan has been a central issue during the past two weeks of master contract negotiations between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The guild is seeking a significant step-up in AMPTP funding for the plan, which is calculated as a percentage of WGA member earnings. The WGA plan, like SAG-aftra’s and the DGA’s, is administered by a joint committee of guild and management reps, and is known for offering generous coverage with little out-of-pocket expense from members who earn enough annually to qualify for coverage.

Related

Writers Guild Contract Talks Begin Amid Anxiety

At present, that health care qualifying earnings threshold stands at a minimum of $38,302 within four consecutive quarters. »


- Cynthia Littleton and Dave McNary

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‘Empire’ Star Grace Byers Joins Karl Urban and Sofia Vergara in ‘Bent’

18 hours ago

Grace Byers, who plays Lucious Lyon’s wife Anika on “Empire,” has joined Karl Urban and Sofia Vergara in the indie thriller “Bent.”

Andy Garcia also stars with Robert Moresco directing from a script he wrote.

Story follows a shamed and discredited narcotics detective who, upon his release from prison, makes plans to seek revenge on the accuser who framed him and killed his partner.

Byers will play a jazz singer and lounge owner who gets caught up in a police conspiracy. Ambi Entertainment is on board to finance and produce “Bent.” Moresco and David Guillod will also produce.

Production starts this month in Italy.

Byers can still be seen on “Empire,” which just had its spring premiere. She’s also married to “Empire” co-star Trai Byers, pictured above.

She is repped Apa and Primary Wave Entertainment.

Related storiesRemote Controlled: Ilene Chaiken Talks 'Empire' Spinoff: 'You Might Hear Something in »


- Justin Kroll

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Talks to Direct, Star in Musical Comedy With Channing Tatum (Exclusive)

18 hours ago

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is eyeing a return to the director’s chair, tackling a movie musical with Channing Tatum by his side.

Sources tell Variety that Gordon-Levitt is in early negotiations to direct Universal’s R-rated musical comedy with the running title “Wingmen.” He’s already attached to star in the movie alongside Tatum.

Universal landed the pitch that Gordon-Levitt and “21 Jump Street” scribe Michael Bacall hatched last year following a competitive bidding war that saw several studios chasing the project.

Related

Joseph Gordon-Levitt on ‘Snowden’: What He Did Was a Really Positive Thing for the Country

The story follows two pilots who crash-land in Las Vegas. According to sources, the film is in the vein of “Pitch Perfect” meets “Book of Mormon,” with the dup covering Top 100 hits with a touch of adult humor.

The studio courted filmmakers that included Seth Gordon, James Bobin, and “Book of Mormon” director »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Sing Street’ Star Ian Kenny Joins Han Solo Movie (Exclusive)

19 hours ago

Ian Kenny, who broke out with his scene-stealing performance in “Sing Street,” has joined the ensemble of Lucasfilm’s Han Solo stand alone pic starring Alden Ehrenreich, Variety has learned exclusively.

Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Woody Harrelson, Michael K. Williams, and Emilia Clarke are already set to co-star in the Disney-Lucasfilm feature, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Jon and Lawrence Kasdan are penning the script.

The untitled Han Solo movie hits theaters May 25, 2018. Production is currently underway.

Related

First Look at ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Spinoff Cast

Details about Kenny’s character are unknown. Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call earlier this week that the movie would cover Solo’s life from when he was 18 to 24, revealing how he came to own the Millennium Falcon as well as how he met his Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca.

Produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Allison Shearmur, »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Peter Gunn’ Star Lola Albright Dies at 92

20 hours ago

Lola Albright, the glamorous blonde actress best known for starring on the television series “Peter Gunn,” died Thursday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 92.

A native of Akron, Ohio, news of her death was first reported by the Akron Beacon-Journal. “She went very peacefully,” her friend Eric Anderson told the newspaper. “She died at 7:20 a.m. of natural causes. We loved her so much.”

Albright was a receptionist at Wakr radio in Akron, then left to go to Cleveland’s Wtam, where she wed announcer Warren Dean — the first of three marriages.

Her first film appearance came in 1947 in “The Unfinished Dance,” starring Margaret O’Brien. She then starred with Judy Garland in “Easter Parade” in 1948. The next year she appeared opposite Kirk Douglas in 1949’s “Champion,” portraying a spurned lover. Douglas received an Oscar nomination for his work.

Related

Celebrities Who Died in 2017

In 1950, she acted »


- Dave McNary

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Panama Film Festival Unveils Centerpiece 2017 Primera Mirada Slate

20 hours ago

The third edition of the Panama Film Festival’s Primera Mirada pix-in-post sidebar has selected four films – from the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama and Puerto Rico- from a total of 48 films submitted from the Central America and the Caribbean.

Primera Mirada is particularly important for the region’s filmmakers who often work miracles to get their projects off the ground and often desperately require post-production completion finance. The number of films submitted to the competition has risen progressively – with 32 films in 2015, 46 in 2016 and 48 this year.

The sidebar attracts leading international sales agents to its screenings – projects will be screened in exclusive private sessions for sales agents, distributors, and film festival programmers – and has served as an important springboard for selected projects.

2015’s Primera Mirada winner, “I Promise You Anarchy,” by Guatemalan director Julio Hernandez Cordon, had its world premiere at Locarno a few months later, followed by screenings in Toronto, »


- Martin Dale

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‘Kong: Skull Island’ Roars to Massive $22.5 Million Opening in China

20 hours ago

Kong: Skull Island” roared to a $22.5 million opening day in China on Friday, including Thursday midnight screenings.

The first-day take represented nearly 76% of China’s total box office haul on Friday. That marks the second-largest English-language film launch of the year in the country, behind “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” and the fifth-biggest Friday debut ever for a U.S. title in the Middle Kingdom.

The international total outside of China has hit $167.3 million, led by the U.K. with $14.8 million, Mexico with $11.8 million, and South Korea with $11.6 million. The monster pic opens in Japan on March 25.

Related

Kong: Skull Island,’ ‘Logan’ and Why March Is Kicking Off Summer Blockbuster Season

Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and Brie Larson star in “Kong: Skull Island,” a reboot of the King Kong franchise set on an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. The film, directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, carries a hefty $185 million price tag. »


- Dave McNary

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‘Last Men in Aleppo’ Takes Top Prize at Copenhagen’s Cph:dox Fest

20 hours ago

With the documentary market recently inundated with Syria-themed titles, one title is emerging as the most decorated of the lot. Two months after scooping the Grand Jury Prize in Sundance’s world documentary competition, Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad’s harrowing, immersive war-zone study “Last Men in Aleppo” has also triumphed at Cph:dox, Copenhagen’s eminent all-doc festival.

Fayyad’s film, which follows a hardy group of White Helmets volunteers at the frontline of the conflict in Aleppo, was handed the top prize in the festival’s premier Dox:award section, by a jury whose members included Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (“The Act of Killing”), Sundance programmer Caroline Libresco, Patricipant Media’s Laura Kim, Marie-Pierre Macia and Renata Santoro. It was also something of a home-turf victory for the Danish co-production, which was co-directed by Dane Steen Johannessen.

The jury described “Last Men in Aleppo” as “a film whose devastating emotional immediacy »


- Guy Lodge

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