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‘Captain Marvel’: Jude Law Lands Male Lead Opposite Brie Larson (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Jude Law is in negotiations to play the male lead opposite Brie Larson in Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” sources tell Variety.

Ben Mendelsohn is on board to play the villain with “Half Nelson” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directing. Kevin Feige is producing.

Marvel had no comment.

Geneva Robertson-Dworet wrote the most recent script with “Inside Out” scribe Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman penning previous drafts, which follows Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien during an accident. The resulting alteration imbues her with the superpowers of strength, energy projection, and flight.

Law will be playing Doctor Walter Lawson, a.k.a. Mar-Vell, who becomes a mentor of sorts to Danvers as she tries to figure out her new powers.

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Feige announced that the superhero film will be set in the ’90s, before the Avengers ever thought of assembling, and [link=nm »


- Justin Kroll

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Box Office: Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Strums $2.3 Million on Tuesday Night

11 hours ago

Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” has opened with a solid $2.3 million on Tuesday night.

The animated pic is on par with Disney’s “Moana,” which earned $2.6 million from previews during the same frame last year. It went on to gross $82 million over five days.

The family film has been on track to take in $55 million to $60 million at 3,948 venues during the Thanksgiving holiday period from Wednesday to Sunday. Estimates indicate that the costly “Justice League,” which has pulled in a disappointing $111.9 million in its first five days, will come in No. 1 again with about $60 million to $65 million.

Coco” opens in nearly 2,800 3D locations, 106 premium large format screens, and 268 theaters offering the film in Spanish. Unlike “Justice League,” critics have embraced “Coco” (its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 95%).

Just before “Coco” began its Tuesday night previews, news broke that animation guru John Lasseter would be taking a six-month leave from the company over allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women. [link »


- Dave McNary

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Film News Roundup: DreamWorks Animation Campus Sold for $290 Million

3 hours ago

In today’s film news roundup, Griffin Capital has sold the DreamWorks Animation Studio Campus for $290 million, “Happy Death Day” tops $100 million in box office, and the comedy “Future ’38” gets sold.

Property Deal

Griffin Capital has sold the DreamWorks Animation Studio Campus for $290 million to Korea-based Hana Asset Management and Los Angeles-based Ocean West Capital Partners.

The five-building, 460,000-square-foot property is located in Glendale, Calif., and was built in 1997 for DreamWorks Skg, headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. The campus remained headquarters for DreamWorks Animation when it became a separate company in 2004 and produced the “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises. It will continue as home to DreamWorks Animation under the new owners.

On August, 2016, NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, making it a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Griffin Capital acquired the building in 2015 for $215 million. The seller was represented by the Shannon Team of Newmark »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Tracking for Stellar $200 Million Opening Weekend

13 hours ago

Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is heading for a massive launch in the $200 million range during its Dec. 15-17 opening weekend in North America, according to the first estimates released by tracking services on Wednesday.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie picks up where 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis.

The new stars include Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. It’s the final film role for Fisher, who died last December.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set an all-time record in December of 2015, with a domestic opening of $248 million at 4,134 theaters for the first “Star Wars” movie in a decade. The first “Star Wars” spinoff, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” opened a year later with $155.1 million.

The debut for “Rogue One” — which starred Felicity Jones, es [link=nm »


- Dave McNary

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Idfa Film Review: ‘Over the Limit’

2 hours ago

Nina Sayers, the tortured heroine of Darren Aronofsky’s prima ballerina psychodrama “Black Swan,” might just thank her lucky stars if she saw “Over the Limit,” another relentless portrait of young female performers mentally and physically savaged in the name of perfection. This is no heightened horror film, however. The intense abuse captured in Marta Prus’s brilliant, diamond-hard documentary portrait of a Russian rhythmic gymnast’s punishing road to the 2016 Olympics is all too vividly real — just watching it induces veritable stomach cramps, though it’s impossible to turn away from the film’s whipcrack construction and expert manipulation of perspective.

A former rhythmic gymnast herself, Prus seems to equally adore the exquisite physicality of the discipline and abhor the psychological torment that goes into it. That said, no interest at all in the subject is required to find “Over the Limit” coolly riveting: If anything, the less you know about its beleaguered heroine, Margarita Mamun, and »


- Guy Lodge

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Oscar Myth of ‘Pure’ Movies: Why Netflix, Amazon Should Be Recognized

3 hours ago

Some voters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are worried about new delivery systems such as Netflix and Amazon; as Oscar voters, they don’t want to support a method that they believe endangers traditional moviegoing.

I hate to say this, but the major studios put an end to “traditional moviegoing” more than 30 years ago.

The voters’ fear of new delivery methods follows a long showbiz tradition: shake your fists at any major innovation, make gorilla sounds to scare it away, then eventually embrace it.

The Hollywood establishment was terrified of talkies in 1927, radio in the 1930s, and TV in the 1950s. Emmy voters ignored cable so a group invented the CableACE Awards in 1978; it took the Emmys a decade to eventually come around.

Oscar voters may worry about blurring lines, but they’ve been blurred for decades. Oscar is clearly the industry’s biggest celebration of movies — yet every major decision about the show »


- Tim Gray

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IMAX Opens First Virtual Reality Center in Europe

3 hours ago

IMAX and Odeon Cinemas have opened a virtual reality entertainment hub in Manchester, England, the first of its kind in Europe.

There are five IMAX Vr Centers around the world offering virtual reality movies, games, and experiences. The British one is located inside the Odeon at the intu Trafford Centre, and comprises 10 pods that allow multiple players or viewers to experience Vr in a social setting. IMAX said it wants to test Vr’s ability to woo younger audiences to the cinema.

“We are excited to join forces with our longtime partner Odeon to unveil the next evolution of immersive entertainment in Europe, starting with the launch of the IMAX Vr Centre in Manchester,” said Giovanni Dolci, managing director, Europe & Africa, IMAX Corp. “IMAX Vr brings the best Vr technology and content together in a highly social and interactive setting.”

IMAX has established a Vr Content Fund and will provide the content for the new center. The Vr »


- Stewart Clarke

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Why ‘Diamond Dogs’ Had to Premiere in Singapore

4 hours ago

Singaporean filmmaker Gavin Lim is delighted to have the world premiere of his debut feature “Diamond Dogs” at home at the 28th Singapore International Film Festival. The Sgiff, which kicks off Thursday, is part of the Singapore Media Festival.

“It’s important for my first film to premiere in Sgiff, instead of every Singaporean filmmaker’s strategy of going international first and losing that world premiere cherry elsewhere and then coming back to Sgiff after garnering some accolades,” says Lim. “I think it’s important to cultivate Singapore audiences to love our own first rather than seek validation from others. So maybe it is foolhardy and stupid, but I think premiering in Sgiff is important to Singaporean filmmakers. If Singaporean filmmakers are making a mark on the global scene after premiering in Sgiff it will make the festival all that more important.”

Diamond Dogs” is an action thriller where a man with nothing to lose is lured »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive, Mona Fong Dead at 83

4 hours ago

Asia lost one of its top women film and TV executives with the death on Wednesday of Mona Fong (aka Mona Shaw). She died at 83.

After a glittering career as a singer, and then as an actress, she became a key figure in the running of first the Shaw Brothers movie studio, then at the top of Tvb, Hong Kong’s leading free-to-air TV station.

Tvb said that she died peacefully at 5.28pm local time at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, in Happy Valley, surrounded by her family. No cause of death was given.

Born in Shanghai in 1934 as Lee Monglan, the daughter of a nightclub singer, she moved to Hong Kong in the 1940s with her mother and quickly turned professional as a singer. She was noted for her singing abilities in Chinese and English, and often sang English covers of Chinese hits.

She met her husband, the legendary Sir Run Run Shaw after a performance »


- Patrick Frater

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Singapore Festival: Three Questions With Yuni Hadi

4 hours ago

Yuni Hadi, the Sgiff’s executive director, explains what hot at this year’s festival. And why.

Variety: What’s new at the festival in 2017?

Yuni Hadi: The introduction of the Southeast Asian Producer’s Network is a natural extension of the Southeast Asian Film Lab. We have the closed-door session where it’s a full day session discussing the success and challenges of a project, analyzing numbers and ultimately, having working producers share information that can used to achieve wider distribution for Southeast Asian independent films. For our first year we have guest speakers who are commissioners of cable and Internet platforms like Astro, Catchplay and HBO Asia.

We also have Midnight Mayhem which is the new branding of our late-night films which started to have a real following- with the filmmakers of “Salvage: Malay Wild” and “Mayhem” in Singapore to bring different perspectives of genre films

Variety: What is new and noteworthy in the past »


- Patrick Frater

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Singapore’s Cinematic Ship Sails On Familiar Course

5 hours ago

After a stellar 2016, when two Singaporean films had their world premiere in Cannes, Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice” and K Rajagopal’s A Yellow Bird,” 2017 has been a strong follow-up year.

The year kicked off with confirmation that Kirsten Tan’s “Pop Aye” had been selected to premiere at Sundance in the World Cinema – Dramatic segment. There it was nominated for the Grand Jury prize and took home the Screenwriting Award. It went on to win the Big Screen Award at Rotterdam and the Golden Eye prize at Zurich.

The film also secured U.S. distribution via Kino Lorber and in addition had a commercial release at home in Singapore. Unsurprisingly, “Pop Aye” was chosen as Singapore’s entry for the Oscar foreign-language category.

Tan is delighted with the relative gender parity in Singapore. “Singapore is attuned to the fact that girls should be able to do what they want,” says Tan. “But yes, female »


- Naman Ramachandran and Patrick Frater

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SGIFF: Singapore’s Chew Tze Chuan Explores Sex and ‘Shadows’

5 hours ago

Underground Singaporean filmmaker Chew Tze Chuan’s latest film title is a mouthful – “Shadows of Fiendish Ancestress and Occasionally Parajanov on Durian Cialis (Lesser #9).” The film will have its world premiere at the Singapore International Film Festival, part of the Singapore Media Festival, this week.

Chew is fascinated with depictions of native sexuality in history and his body of work is based on a personal philosophy he calls Lesser, a mixture of ideas culled from cinema verite and Dogme 95. “Shadows” follows a hermaphrodite who comes to town to impart a wisdom that proves to be both untimely and too carnal.

Chew first appeared at Sgiff in 1994, with his debut short “Loving Sappho.” Since then he has had a varied career, debuting as a DoP with Abdul Nizam’s “Datura” that won best short at Sgiff 1999. He performed the function again in 2000 for “Haura,” Nizam’s segment in Zhao Wei Films’ omnibus movie “Stories About Love.” In 2004, he »

- Naman Ramachandran

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IDFA: ‘Time Trial’ Director Finlay Pretsell On Working With Tour De France Cyclist David Millar

5 hours ago

Amsterdam — Sports films mostly follow a familiar arc, usually an underdog story in which the little guy fights back, or comes back, against extraordinary odds. At first glance, that would appear to be the case with Idfa Competition entry “Time Trial”, in which Scottish director Finlay Pretsell chronicles a heroic effort by professional road-racing cyclist David Millar to end his blemished career on a high by winning a place on the Tour De France for one last time.

Millar is a smart, intelligent and sometimes thorny subject, who becomes especially difficult on the subject of his arrest in 2004 – and subsequent suspension from the sport – on suspicion of doping. Millar was by no means alone, as the subsequent scandal involving world-famous U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong would show, but his confession cut short a once promising career. Millar has since renounced his drug use and has become an advocate for clean sports; “Time Trial” finds him facing a self-imposed »

- Damon Wise

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Ventana Sur Opens Shop for Latin American Film and TV

6 hours ago

Ventana Sur, by far Latin America’s biggest movie-tv market, unspools its ninth edition over Nov. 27 through Dec. 1. Here are seven key points about this year’s market for visitors:

The big titles

Are foreign markets, like Hollywood, now suffering from a high-end TV diaspora? As more big-name foreign-language directors and actors are swallowed up by high-end TV, the number of big high-profile Latin American movies coming to the market may not increase. Several will be talked up or shooting during Ventana Sur, however: Pablo Trapero’s “La Quietud,” a sisters’ drama with Bérénice Bejo and Martina Gusmán; “You Shall Not Sleep,” from “Casa Muda’s” Gustavo Hernández, a Fox pick-up for U.S. and Latin America; and Ricardo Darin’s “Love at Last Chance,” a second-chance romance. One more big Argentine title may well be added to the mix before Ventana Sur.

Firing on multiple cylinders

Launched in 2009, Ventana Sur was first a sales market for Latin »


- John Hopewell

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Box Office: ‘Coco’ Topping ‘Justice League’ With $70 Million Over Thanksgiving Weekend

6 hours ago

Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” has the edge over Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s “Justice League” in a race for the top domestic box office spot with about $70 million for the Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Early estimates on Wednesday showed “Justice League” matching forecasts, which had been in the $60 million to $65 million range at 4,051 locations. The most recent numbers showed “Coco” was performing above pre-opening expectations, which had been in the $55 million to $60 million range.

Coco” was taking in about $12 million on Wednesday at 3,948 venues, which included $2.3 million in Tuesday night previews. “Justice League” is pegged to gross around $10.3 million on Wednesday, bringing its six-day total to about $122 million.

Coco” is opening against the backdrop of Disney’s animation chief John Lasseter taking a six-month leave from the company over allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women. Lasseter, who runs both Pixar and Disney Animation, apologized in an email to those “on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or »


- Dave McNary

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Channing Tatum’s Yeti Fears Humans in ‘Smallfoot’ First Trailer

6 hours ago

Channing Tatum portrays a Yeti who’s clearly afraid of humans in Warner Bros.’ first trailer for the animated comedy “Smallfoot.”

Tatum voices a young Yeti named Migo who’s shocked to discover a human, which the Yeti community refers to as a “smallfoot” in a reversal of the Bigfoot legend. The trailer was unveiled Wednesday with the tagline “Yeti or not, here they come!”

Migo says of humans: “It’s a terrifying creature with perfect white teeth and breath that just smells all minty fresh and the only hair it has on its entire body is on the top of its head!”

The news of this “smallfoot” brings him fame and a chance with the girl of his dreams — but also throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.

James Corden stars as the smallfoot, named Percy. The »


- Dave McNary

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Comcast, Disney Keep Focus on 21st Century Fox Assets Despite At&T-Time Warner Battle

7 hours ago

Comcast and Disney are staying focused on the prospect of bidding for key 21st Century Fox assets despite the concern about the climate for media mergers raised by the Justice Department’s decision to fight the $85 billion union of At&T and Time Warner.

Sources say Fox is continuing to engage in very preliminary discussions with Comcast, Disney, and other potential suitors about a sale process of the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, the FX Networks and National Geographic cable group, Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, and international TV platforms including Star India and its 39% interest in Euro satcaster Sky. A source said executives at Comcast and NBCUniversal are “being very serious” in studying the Fox assets and trying crunch the numbers with publicly available information. Fox is not believed to have progressed to the point of sending out briefing books or asking potential bidders to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Reps for Fox »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Sings Praises of His Production Team

8 hours ago

In Fox blockbuster “Logan,” the title character says, “I’m not whatever you think I am.” The same is true of the movie, an “X-Men” sequel that’s more classic Hollywood film noir/Western than superhero movie. Director and co-writer James Mangold talks about the contributions of his team of artisans in giving the film a different vibe from that of its predecessors.

Cinematographer John Mathieson

The idea was to produce a more natural film, on location, which avoided the fetishizing of superhero gear and vehicles that had become a trope of these movies. There’s a general look of what’s been successful in the last decade with superhero movies, and I definitely didn’t want that. I brought up Westerns like “Shane” and “Unforgiven,” but also “The Wrestler” or Clint Eastwood’s “The Gauntlet,” which felt very naturalistic, where lighting was natural or practical, not glammed up. The whole take of the script was that »


- Tim Gray

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IFP’s Gotham Awards Give Indie Films a Boost

9 hours ago

On Sept. 30, 1991, John Turturro and the late Jonathan Demme were the first of seven New Yorkers to garner a Gotham Award. Trophies were handed out at the Roseland Ballroom without much fanfare. The celebratory dinner, a fundraiser for the Independent Filmmaker Project, was a small, low-key, quirky event that didn’t draw mainstream media.

“It didn’t have that big huge red carpet thing that happens nowadays,” says former Ifp exec director Catherine Tait, who oversaw the creation of the Gotham Awards. “It was really intimate because the interest in indie filmmaking was not very heightened at the time.”

Cut to the same awards show at the same venue four years later. “Reservoir Dogs,” “Kids” and “Hoop Dreams” were officially part of the zeitgeist and Madonna was posing for photographers along with fellow Gotham Award guests Ted Turner and Jane Fonda. The Gotham Awards were officially a hot ticket.

“We were riding a wave of sudden consumer »


- Addie Morfoot

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‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ First Footage Shows Chris Pratt Petting Baby Raptor

9 hours ago

Executive producer and screenwriter Colin Trevorrow has unveiled the first footage from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” showing Chris Pratt’s return as the raptor handler.

The six-second teaser shows a dino hatchling cuddling up against Pratt. “From our Jurassic family to yours,” Treverrow tweeted on Wednesday.

From our Jurassic family to yours. @FilmBayona @PrattPrattPratt @BryceDHoward @LeDoctor #Fallenkingdom pic.twitter.com/KiR3et9Vx1

Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) November 22, 2017

Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning for the sequel to the 2015 blockbuster “Jurassic World.” The new installment also stars Justice Smith, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, and Jeff Goldblum, who co-starred in 1993’s “Jurassic Park” and in 1997’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” but was absent from “Jurassic World.” He played quick-witted mathematician Ian Malcolm, who managed to survive in both films.

J.A. Bayona is directing the next installment. Trevorrow, who helmed “Jurassic World,” wrote the script for the sequel with Derek Connolly. The executive »


- Dave McNary

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