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

2 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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Renee Zellweger to Play Judy Garland in London-Set ‘Judy’

15 hours ago

Renee Zellweger (“Chicago”) will star as Judy Garland in a new movie about the show business legend’s final concerts in London. Pathé and Calamity Films are behind “Judy” and principal photography is set for next February, in London.

Opening in the English capital in the winter of 1968 as Garland arrives for a five-week run of sell-out concerts, the movie will also recount the icon’s battles with management, and relationships with musicians and fans.

As the concerts get underway the star of stage and screen is 47 and exhausted, fragile, and wanting to be at home with her kids, casting into doubt whether the shows, at the Talk of the Town nightclub, can go on.

“Judy” is based on a script written by Tom Edge (“The Crown”) and will be produced by BAFTA winner David Livingstone (“Pride”) for Calamity Films. British stage director and Tony nominee, Rupert Goold, will direct. The producers »


- Stewart Clarke

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Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges to Star in Drama ‘Ben Is Back’

7 hours ago

Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges will star as mother and son in the  family drama “Ben Is Back,” to be directed by Hedges’ real-life father, Peter Hedges.

Lucas Hedges, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “Manchester by the Sea,” will portray a charming yet troubled man who returns home to his unsuspecting family on Christmas Eve. His wary mother welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns that he is still very much in harm’s way.

Color Force and Black Bear Pictures are producing alongside the elder Hedges, with 30West and Black Bear fully financing the project. CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for the movie, will represent U.S. rights. Sierra/Affinity will be handling international rights at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Production is set to begin this December in New York.

Roberts stars in the upcoming drama “Wonder,” opposite [link=nm »


- Dave McNary

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‘Paddington 2’ Producers Seek to Exit Distribution Deal With Weinstein Company

9 hours ago

With the future of the Weinstein Company already uncertain, the backers of the family film “Paddington 2” are looking to sever distribution ties with the company, Variety has confirmed.

According to The Guardian, Heyday Films and French company StudioCanal, the co-producers of the film, feel that a movie that caters to children shouldn’t remain associated with the sex harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

TWC also distributed the first “Paddington” film in the U.S. through its TWC-Dimension label, where it grossed $76.3 million, making it one of the company’s highest-grossing movies. Bob Weinstein has referred to “Paddington 2” as a reason why TWC’s future is not completely dire, and if the contract is not terminated, “Paddington 2” may become TWC’s biggest hit since 2012’s “Django Unchained.” The film is set for release in November in the U.K. by StudioCanal and January in the U.S. via TWC-Dimension.

“TWC has had nothing to do with the making »


- Erin Nyren

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Halloween Costume Ideas 2017

38 minutes 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

54 minutes 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

1 hour 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

1 hour 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

1 hour 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

2 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’

3 hours ago

Antalya, Turkey — When asked whether she’s ever had trouble from 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 »


- John Hopewell

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

4 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

4 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

5 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

6 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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‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Creates Thunderous Buzz on Social Media Ahead of Debut

6 hours ago

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” dominated social media last week with a hefty 113,000 new conversations with the release of extended clips and plot details, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.

The third Thor movie has now totaled 1.65 million new conversations two weeks before the Nov. 3 opening of the tentpole.

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.

Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” generated 70,000 new conversations following the Oct. 16 release of the first full action-packed trailer. In it, Chadwick Boseman’s character, T’Challa, returns to his home where he rules, the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Footage throughout the trailer shows him embodying his superhero identity, Black Panther.

Michael B. Jordan’s character Erik Killmonger — an exile who seeks to overthrow »


- Dave McNary

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Harvey Weinstein Is a Monster of Hollywood’s Own Making. What Are We Going to Do About It?

6 hours ago

We are at a tipping point.  

Three weeks ago, Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Today, he is radioactive — denounced, dismissed, and defending himself against potential lawsuits and criminal investigation. It has felt for several days as if the sky is falling in Hollywood; as if the firmament that the entertainment ecosystem is crumbling before our eyes. It has been horrifying and cathartic, in turns; long-held secrets are being uncovered, while long-buried suspicions are being validated. What may have started with Harvey Weinstein is not ending with him: Already, several men throughout media and entertainment have been outed by their employees and in many cases, ousted by their employers. When a movement can unseat an agent, an editor, a showrunner, and an executive, it is just getting started. Little doubt there are more to follow.

The last two weeks have seen a steady stream of stories, from women in »


- Sonia Saraiya

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Watch the Stunning Trailer for Daniel Day-Lewis’ Final Film, ‘Phantom Thread’

7 hours ago

Focus Features has released the first trailer for the period fashion drama “Phantom Thread,” what’s expected to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film.

Variety first reported on June 20 that Day-Lewis was retiring from acting at the ago of 60, after completing production on “Phantom Thread.”

The film — set in 1950s post-war London — follows Day-Lewis, a renowned dressmaker, who, with his sister (portrayed by Lesley Manville), is at the center of British fashion. His life is disrupted by a strong-willed woman, played by Vicky Krieps, who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. “You look beautiful, very beautiful,” he tells her.

“Why are you not married?” she asks at one point, evoking only nervous laughter from the actor.

Manville declares at one point to Krieps, “May I warn you of something — my brother can feel cursed; that love is doomed for him.”

Phantom Thread” marks director Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth movie, and his second »


- Dave McNary

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Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez to Star in Drama ‘Ms. White Light’ (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez, Zachary Spicer, Carson Meyer, and John Ortiz will star in the independent drama “Ms. White Light,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Paul Shoulberg will direct the film from his own script. The movie will be produced by Spicer and John Robert Armstrong for their Indiana-based company Pigasus Pictures. Shooting begins Oct. 27 in Bloomington, Ind.

Ortiz and Colindrez portray a father-daughter team who operate Cordova Mortality Solutions, counseling terminally ill clients, while Light plays a sharp-tongued free spirit who has no time for her own mortality. Spicer is a psychic medium and Meyer portrays a woman dying of a terminal blood disease.

Ms. White Light” is the first in Pigasus Pictures’ slate of six films to be produced locally in Indiana over the next three years. Spicer and Armstrong previously teamed with Shoulberg to produce “The Good Catholic,” starring John McGinley and Danny Glover.

Light stars on “Transparent” and was nominated for a supporting actress »


- Dave McNary

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Award-Winning Animated Short ‘Negative Space’ Makes Online Debut

8 hours ago

After playing in more than 80 festivals and winning 25 prizes since premiering at Annecy in June, the stop-motion animated short “Negative Space” will be available for viewing online for two weeks beginning on Monday.

Negative Space,” co-directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, is an adaptation of the poem by Ron Koertge. The poem’s tale about a boy who connects with his father by learning to pack a suitcase touched each of the filmmakers in different ways.

For Kuwahata, it was especially personal. “As an airline pilot, my father traveled often when I was growing up. I don’t really remember things like trips to the zoo or theme parks, but the image of him packing a crisp, white shirt is burned in my memory,” she recalls. “I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study. My most vivid »


- Terry Flores

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