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Denzel Washington Circling Dan Gilroy’s Legal Drama ‘Inner City’ (Exclusive)

33 minutes ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Denzel Washington is eyeing the lead role in “Inner City,” a legal drama written and to be directed by Dan Gilroy.

The project is being billed as a character study in the vein of Paul Newman’s 1982 classic “The Verdict,” and could land two-time Oscar winner Washington back in the awards race.

Washington will play a lawyer in an ambulance-chasing firm. When his boss falls ill, he steps in as the frontman, but manages to make a mess of things at every turn.

The movie takes place in Los Angeles, the familiar gritty setting of “Nightcrawler,” which was Gilroy’s directorial debut after three decades of screenwriting. That 2014 film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a troubled crime paparazzo (who also chased ambulances), grossed $32 million domestically on a $8.5 million budget.

Jennifer Fox is producing “Inner City.”

The script is hot off the presses and hasn’t been shopped to distributors yet. However, »


- Ramin Setoodeh

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Dwayne Johnson Named World’s Highest-Paid Actor

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Dwayne Johnson is rocking Forbes‘ highest-paid actor list.

Johnson commanded $64.5 million between June 2015 and June 2016, more than doubling his earnings from the previous year and bumping Robert Downey Jr. from the top of the list, where he was perched for three consecutive years. A bulk of Johnson’s earnings come from his roles in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, the disaster movie “San Andreas,” and the HBO series “Ballers,” as well as upfront fees for “Fast 8” and the “Baywatch” movie

Johnson ranked No. 11 last year with around $31 million.

“Want to say two things about this,” Johnson tweeted about the news. “I started w/$7 bucks. If I can overcome, so can you. Waffle House on me!”

Want to say two things about this.

I started w/ $7 bucks. If I can overcome, so can you.

Waffle House on me!! https://t.co/r3UeQYaLmT

Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 25, 2016

Downey dropped down to eighth with $33 million, »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Neil Burger to Direct Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston in ‘Intouchables’ Remake

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Divergent” director Neil Burger has been tapped to direct The Weinstein Company’s remake of “The Intouchables,” starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston.

TWC plans to start showing in January. Hart and Cranston, who have not worked together before, came on board the project in March.

The original French movie starred Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy in the story of the friendship that develops between a quadriplegic millionaire and his caregiver. “Intouchables” grossed close to $430 million worldwide in 2011 and TWC picked up remake rights that year as part of a deal to release the original domestically.

The original film was directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.

John Hartmere has written the script for the remake. Burger worked with TWC on “The Illusionist” and also directed “Limitless.”

Burger has been writing the script for Universal’s “Bride of Frankenstein” remake. He’s repped by CAA. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood. »


- Dave McNary

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'Captain Marvel' Director Search Narrows (Exclusive)

24 August 2016 10:05 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Captain Marvel is slowly zeroing in on a director. Niki Caro, Lesli Linka Glatter and Lorene Scafaria are on the shortlist for the highly-coveted job of helming Marvel Studio's first female-centric superhero movie, several sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.  A decision won't be made anytime soon as Marvel is being very deliberate in its search, according to sources; the movie has a release date of March 8, 2019. Sources caution that there may be names yet to surface. Marvel had no comment. Brie Larson is attached to star as Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot who gains

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- Borys Kit, Rebecca Ford

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‘Angry Birds Movie’ Sequel in the Works at Rovio

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A sequel to “The Angry Birds Movie” is in the works at Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd., maker of the “Angry Birds” mobile game.

Angry Birds” grossed a solid $347 million worldwide, including $107 million domestically, since its release in May. Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta made the disclosure as part of the company’s earnings report.

“With the excellent performance of our games portfolio and the fantastic movie, the Angry Birds brand is flying high and we are seeing positive Ebit and cash flow development, while fulfilling our mission to create world class entertainment,” Levoranta said. “We currently have several exciting new games and other projects in development, including new IP, and we have started planning the sequel to ‘The Angry Birds Movie.’”

Rovio gave no further details about the sequel. It noted that “The Angry Birds Movie” was released digitally in selected Asian markets and North America on July 29 and went to No. »


- Dave McNary

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‘Black-ish’ Actress Cast as Lead on Amazon Live-Action ‘American Girl’ Special

3 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Black-ish” actress Marsai Martin must be a real doll — the ABC star has been cast in the title role on Amazon’s upcoming American Girl live-action special, “Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story.” Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, “Melody” centers around a 10-year-old girl whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing, according to Amazon. As a result, Melody’s belief in the indivisible promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific. »


- Tony Maglio

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‘Days of Our Lives’ Star Kassie DePaiva Reveals Leukemia Battle

55 minutes ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Sad news for soap opera veteran Kassie DePaiva. The actress, whose credits include “Days of Our Lives” and “One Life to Live,” revealed on Thursday that she is battling leukemia. DePaiva, who plays Eve on “Days,” said on her website that she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July, when the show was on hiatus. Also Read: Jen Lilley Explains 'Days of Our Lives' Exit: Not Playing Theresa 'Pains Me' The actress added that she has spent “six of the last nine weeks” in the hospital, and will continue treatment over the next three months. “My prognosis is good. »


- Tim Kenneally

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Hope Solo Suspended For Calling Soccer Opponents ‘Cowards’ at Rio Olympics

1 hour ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Hope Solo has been suspended for six months by the U.S. Soccer Federation for derisive comments she made during the Rio Olympics.

After an upset loss to Sweden in the Olympic quarterfinals, Solo called her opponents “a bunch of cowards.” She added, “the best team did not win today.”

“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our national team players,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in a statement Wednesday. “Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.”

In addition to the suspension, U.S. Soccer terminated Solo’s contract with the national team.

In a Facebook post, the »


- Lawrence Yee

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‘Veep’ Star Matt Walsh Joins Melissa McCarthy’s ‘Life of the Party’ (Exclusive)

1 hour ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Veep” star Matt Walsh has been cast in Melissa McCarthy’s 2018 comedy flick “Life of the Party,” Variety has learned exclusively.

Walsh will play McCarthy’s on-screen husband, Dan. He joins co-stars Gillian Jacobs, Jackie Weaver, Debby Ryan and Maya Rudolph.

The plot is being kept under wraps, other than having a similar tone to the late Rodney Dangerfield’s 1986 film “Back to School.” The only other details to surface so far are McCarthy’s character name, Deanna, and the description of Walsh’s character — he is “always wearing golf pants.”

“McCarthy wrote “Life of the Party” with her husband Ben Falcone, who will direct the pic. Mike Disco (“Horrible Bosses”) and David Siegel (“The Hangover”) will serve as executive producers on the New Line Cinema film. Chris Henchy, who was a producer on McCarthy’s “Tammy” and “The Boss,” will produce alongside McCarthy and Falcone.

Life of the Party” hits theaters on May 11, 2018.

Walsh is repped »


- Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Venice Film Festival Cancels Opening Party in Solidarity With Italy Earthquake Victims

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Castiglioncello, Italy — The Venice Film Festival has cancelled its opening-night dinner and beachside gala in solidarity with victims of the Italian earthquake.

The dinner and party were planned for August 31, following the world premiere of Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.”  The musical film’s red carpet will not be affected.

The decision was taken by artistic director Alberto Barbera in tandem with the fest’s parent organization, the Venice Biennale, headed by Paolo Baratta.

The Biennale in a statement “expressed deep condolences for the victims and absolute solidarity and closeness to the victims and the communities which were hit hardly by the quake.”

The powerful earthquake, which rocked a stretch of central Italy on Wednesday, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, has killed at least 247 people, according to the most recent count.

Thousands of rescuers are sifting through rubble in hilltop communities, including the medieval town of Amatrice, which was »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Dr. Drew to Step Down From Hln

1 hour ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Dr. Drew Pinsky, the addiction specialist who has been part of the Hln schedule since 2011, is leaving the network as it continues to reshape its daytime and primetime lineups.

Pinsky’s last broadcast will take place September 22, according to a memo from Ken Jautz, the executive who oversees the network. Hln is part of Time Warner’s CNN operations.

“It has been a privilege working at Hln. My executive producer Burt Dubrow and our outstanding staff and contributors were consistently exceptional,” Pinsky said in a statement. “I am very excited to stay within the CNN Worldwide family as a contributor.”

Hln is in the midst of an overhaul that will have it focused more tightly on news.  Once known as “CNN Headline News,” Hln is moving back to those roots,  aligning itself more closely with CNN while building a new stable of programs that appeal to its core audience, believed to be younger and more female than »


- Brian Steinberg

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Is Steve From ‘Stranger Things’ Jean-Ralphio’s Father? ‘Parks and Rec’ Star Ben Schwartz Answers (Video)

1 hour ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Ben Schwartz has just answered one of the Internet’s hottest burning questions: Is Steve from “Stranger Things” the real father of “Parks and Recreation” character Jean-Ralphio? Obviously, no. But the actor who played Jean-Ralphio gave a 2-minute response to the joke only fans of both the hit Netflix horror series and the NBC sitcom will understand. According to Schwartz, yes, Steve (Joe Keery) is absolutely the father. Not only do they look similar in appearance, but Schwartz argues the trauma the high school stud experienced in 1983 perfectly explains why the hilariously dumb “Parks and Rec” fan-favorite character. Also Read: 'Stranger Things'. »


- Greg Gilman

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Watch Exclusive Clip From Leonard Nimoy Documentary ‘For the Love of Spock’

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

For Adam Nimoy, the documentary “For the Love of Spock” gave him an opportunity to connect with father Leonard Nimoy in the closing months of his life.

“The minute I suggested it to dad, he was in,” Nimoy recalls in an exclusive clip. “That led me on a journey of self discovery about my relationship with my father.”

The clip includes multiple photos of the two in costume and in real life. The son bears more than a passing resemblance to his father, both physically and vocally.

The film will be released nationwide and on VOD by Gravitas Ventures on Sept. 9 — one day after the official 50th anniversary of the first network broadcast of “Star Trek” — and examines the phenomenon of the character Spock and the man behind the character.

Adam Nimoy began working on the film with his father in late 2014 before he passed away on Feb. 27, 2015. The doc »


- Dave McNary

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Emmys: First Time’s the Charm in Late-Night Race

1 hour ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The run for the gold in variety talk series has shaped up to be a maiden race — none of this year’s six nominees has previously gone home with an Emmy.

Two of the contenders, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Real Time With Bill Maher,” have been on the air since 2003, the same year “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” began a decade-plus run of dominance broken only by spinoff “The Colbert Report.”

But with those shows both now out of the race, it’s anybody’s category to win.

The field breaks down to two traditional talk shows (NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” ABC’s “Kimmel”), two snarky political commentators (HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” and “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”), and two surprise contenders (Crackle’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” CBS’ “The Late Late Show With James Corden”).

The most momentum rests with the current king of rant, Oliver »


- Susan Young

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Ben Foster on ‘Hell or High Water’ and Why He Doesn’t Like Watching His Own Films

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Ben Foster stars in five big-screen releases this year, including the current “Hell or High Water” and the Ron Howard movie “Inferno,” which debuts in October. Earlier this year, he starred with Gillian Anderson in “A Streetcar Named Desire” after its transfer to the New York stage from Britain’s National Theatre. Upcoming for Foster: the release of a music video he directed.

What is the biggest change in the industry since you started?

The stigma of TV has shifted dramatically. It’s really exciting; it feels like the Wild West right now. The best writers seem to be heading toward television. I’m open to anything. I think a long-term TV show is probably not for me, but doing a few years of something could be interesting.

Is “Hell or High Water” different from your other films?

I don’t usually watch my own films, but this one I’ve seen twice. »


- Maria Cavassuto

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Leslie Jones Gets Pep Talk From Slimer Voice Actor After Hack

1 hour ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Adam Ray, the man who voiced Slimer in this summer’s “Ghostbusters” reboot, believes that the hack of Leslie Jones‘ personal website will only “make her stronger.” “This is probably going to give her a strong 20 minutes,” he told TMZ. “It’s not going to knock her down dude, it’s only going to make her stronger.” On Wednesday, the actress’ Tumblr was hacked, with the perpetrator(s) posting personal photos from her iCloud account, which included several nude shots as well as pictures of her passport and driver license. Jones’ phone number and the password to her Twitter account were also purportedly displayed. »


- Beatrice Verhoeven

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‘Southside With You’ Star Tika Sumpter on Malia Obama: ‘Give Her Some Slack’

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“I’m so hyper,” said Parker Sawyers, on the red carpet of the “Southside With You” premiere, presented by The Cinema Society and Miramax & Roadside Attractions, at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in New York Wednesday evening. “Even this is taking a lot of energy to stand still.”

It was obvious that Sawyers, who plays Barack Obama, and his leading lady Tika Sumpter, who plays Michelle Robinson, were excited about the release of the film that brings to life a romantic first date that you could only dream of.

Although the pair never got to meet the Obamas before playing them, it seems it may have been a blessing in disguise.

“I think that would’ve been a lot of pressure and I didn’t want to do an imitation of her,” said Sumpter. “I wanted to embody the essence of her.”

The soon-to-be-mom also learned about loving herself and being »


- Christina Dun

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How Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Mastered the Art of Pooping on Politics

1 hour ago | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

The 2016 election is an absolute circus, and there may be no one better at clowning the clowns than Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. With Triumph's Summer Election Special 2016 and last February's Primary Election Special, both airing on Hulu, the intrepid pup has been dragging his butt across the political carpet, from Iowa to New Hampshire, Philly's Democratic National Convention to Cleveland's Republican National Convention. The bipartisan badgerer has roasted Mike Huckabee, annoyed Ted Cruz and gone viral with videos toying with gullible Trump fans and sensitive college liberals alike — all »


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Madison Avenue Bets Big on Fox’s ‘Star’ to Lead Freshman TV Shows

2 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

What does it take to get a consumer to open his or her wallet? Madison Avenue is wagering that a TV show with what is likely to be a memorable soundtrack will do the trick.

A Variety survey of commercial-ratings projections for the 2016-2017 broadcast TV season finds ad buyers believe “Star,” the new Fox musical drama from co-creators Lee Daniels (pictured, above) and Tom Donaghy, will generate the most commercial viewership of any freshman scripted program. The survey, constructed using estimates from three large media-buying agencies, examines the primetime grid for the most viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 who watch commercials. That age range represents the demographic coveted most by advertisers.

Ad buyers clearly have Daniels’ other big TV property, Fox’s “Empire” in mind. It is, after all, projected to be the top scripted program for capturing ad watchers in the coming TV cycle. “Lee Daniels has a definite potential hit on his hands »


- Brian Steinberg

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Stephen Colbert Grills Anderson Cooper Over CNN Hiring Corey Lewandowski (Video)

2 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

One of the more hot-button issues in media this summer has been CNN’s hiring of former Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as a regular contributor despite the fact that he is still receiving severance payments from the campaign. On “The Late Show” Wednesday night, host Stephen Colbert pressed CNN’s Anderson Cooper on the issue. “So y’all are paying him, and Trump is paying him, but he’s on your show doing analysis for a man he still gets cash from,” Colbert prompted. “Pretty much, yeah,” Cooper responded, squirming a little. “I guess that’s one way to look at it. »


- Oriana Schwindt

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