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Jennifer Lawrence to Star in Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Burial Rites’ (Exclusive)

Jennifer Lawrence to Star in Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Burial Rites’ (Exclusive)
Luca Guadagnino, currently drumming up Oscar buzz for the ravishing “Call Me by Your Name,” will direct Jennifer Lawrence in “Burial Rites,” Variety has learned. Lawrence will produce, as well as star in the true-crime drama. TriStar Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures, has worldwide rights to the picture.

The film draws on Hannah Kent’s 2013 novel of the same name, and centers on Agnes Magnusdottir (Lawrence), the last woman to be publicly executed in Iceland in 1830. Agnes was sentenced to death for killing two men and setting fire to their home. The story takes place as Agnes awaits confirmation of her death sentence by the high court, a period of time that finds her reluctantly forging emotional and romantic bonds, while reflecting on her supposed crimes.

In addition to “Call Me by Your Name,” a romantic drama that’s received critical raves and just picked up three Golden Globe nominations, Guadagnino directed
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Woody Harrelson in Talks to Join Tom Hardy in 'Venom'

Woody Harrelson in Talks to Join Tom Hardy in 'Venom'
Woody Harrelson may become entangled in Venom's web.

The actor is in talks for an undisclosed role in Venom, the Tom Hardy-led Spider-Man off-shoot from Sony. 

Hardy is starring as the popular Marvel Comics antihero with Riz Ahmed, Michelle Williams and Jenny Slate also on the roll call.

If a deal makes, it would mark a reunion for Harrelson with director Ruben Fleischer, who directed the actor in the hit 2009 zombie comedy Zombieland. Venom is already deep into production - filming began in October - and rumors of Harrelson's involvement and swirled on-and-off.

Sony, who had no comment., will release Venom on...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Jim Broadbent Joins Robert Downey Jr. in Universal’s ‘Voyage of Doctor Dolittle’ (Exclusive)

Jim Broadbent Joins Robert Downey Jr. in Universal’s ‘Voyage of Doctor Dolittle’ (Exclusive)
Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent has been cast in Universal Pictures’ “The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle” starring Robert Downey Jr. in the title role.

Dunkirk” actor Harry Collett is also on board to co-star in the pic.

Stephen Gaghan, who most recently directed Matthew McConaughey’s “Gold,” will helm the film from his own screenplay. Tom Shepherd wrote an earlier draft.

The studio acquired the project following a heated bidding war with producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum through their Roth Kirschenbaum Films, alongside Susan Downey for Team Downey.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘The Punisher’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

  • The Wrap
‘The Punisher’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix
Hot off a very well-received first season, Netflix has renewed “The Punisher” for a second season. The Netflix Marvel series stars “The Walking Dead” alum Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, a vigilante out for revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children. Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes and Amber Rose Revah also star.

Per usual with the streaming giant, no premiere date was announced for the show’s second season, but it’s likely to come in 2019 or later. Netflix’s 2018 Marvel slate is already packed, with “Jessica Jones” season 2 due March 8, followed later that year (TBA) by the.
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Guillermo del Toro Taps Scott Cooper for ‘Antlers’ and Sets New Project ‘Nightmare Alley’ (Exclusive)

Guillermo del Toro Taps Scott Cooper for ‘Antlers’ and Sets New Project ‘Nightmare Alley’ (Exclusive)
After Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” landed a leading seven nominations at the Golden Globes, Fox Searchlight has ramped up development on two projects with the filmmaker.

Sources tell Variety that Searchlight is in negotiations with “Hostiles” director Scott Cooper to direct the supernatural pic “Antlers,” which del Toro is producing. Del Toro has been a fan of Cooper’s for some time now, and the two were eager to work together.

Del Toro is also setting up a new directing gig, attaching himself to write and direct a remake of the 1947 Fox movie “Nightmare Alley.” Sources indicate that this will likely not be his next directing job, as he still has to pen the script, which he plans to co-write with Kim Morgan.

“I am delighted to continue the producing partnership that has been forged with Fox Searchlight during the making of ‘The Shape of Water,'” del Toro
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ratings: The Walking Dead Fall Finale Numbers the Worst Since Season 2

Ratings: The Walking Dead Fall Finale Numbers the Worst Since Season 2
In the wake of Sunday’s fall finale of The Walking Dead, the Nielsens delivered to the AMC drama news that was as almost bad as that which Carl shared with Rick, Michonne and viewers in the episode’s last seconds: According to our sister site Variety, “How It’s Gotta Be” was the series’ lowest-rated midseason finale since Season 2 back in 2011.

The plus-sized installment — in which Negan and the Saviors struck back against the AHK (Alexandria/Hilltop/Kingdom) uprising — averaged a 3.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers.
See full article at TVLine.com »

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Heads for $425M-Plus Global Blastoff

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Heads for $425M-Plus Global Blastoff
The Force is getting ready to strike the global box office once again.

Disney and Lucasfilms' Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins opening in select foreign markets midweek before blasting off in North America and other major territories on Friday. That excludes China, where the tentpole doesn't roll out until Jan. 5.

By all accounts, the sequel to Star Wars: The Force Awakens should gross $425 million-plus by Sunday to secure one of the five best worldwide openings of all time, not accounting for inflation. That includes a North American take in the $200 million range, the best...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Ari Sandel Tapped to Direct ‘Goosebumps’ Sequel

Ari Sandel Tapped to Direct ‘Goosebumps’ Sequel
Ari Sandel has been brought on board to direct a sequel to “Goosebumps,” Variety has learned.

It is unclear, however, if this “Goosebumps” follow up will be the next one to hit theaters or if it will even get made at all. Sony, which is backing the movie, has two versions in development. One of these scripts features original star Jack Black, and one does not. There are scheduling concerns involving the actor. The pressure is mounting, and Sony had better make a decision soon about which film it wants to make if it has a chance of hitting its September 21, 2018 release date.

The studio has tapped Rob Lieber (“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”) to write one of these scripts. The first “Goosebumps,” was a modest hit, having grossed $150.2 million worldwide on a reported $58 million budget. Sony is looking to trim costs on this iteration.

Sandel’s credits include “The Duff,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Universal Crosses $5 Billion Mark at 2017 Worldwide Box Office

Universal Crosses $5 Billion Mark at 2017 Worldwide Box Office
Universal Pictures has topped $5 billion at the global box office for the second time in the studio’s 105-year history, led by “The Fate of the Furious” and “Despicable Me 3.”

The global total for the studio passed the milestone on Dec. 11 to reach $5.003 billion, including $1.605 billion domestically and $3.398 billion internationally. Universal joined Disney and Warner Bros. in reaching the mark this year, with Disney hitting the milestone on Nov. 30 and Warner doing so five days later.

The Fate of the Furious” had the biggest global opening weekend of all time at $542 million — breaking the record set by 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It was also the top international opening ever at $443.2 million.

The Fate of the Furious,” the eighth film in the franchise, earned $1.23 billion worldwide in what’s the 11th-largest total of all time. It is only the sixth film in history to cross $1 billion at the international box office and is also the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Howard Gottfried, Producer on 'Network' and 'Altered States,' Dies at 94

Howard Gottfried, Producer on 'Network' and 'Altered States,' Dies at 94
Howard Gottfried, the Oscar-nominated producer who teamed with famed screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky on Network, The Hospital and Altered States, has died. He was 94.

Gottfried suffered a stroke and died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his daughter, Norah Weinstein, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Gottfried earned his Academy Award nomination for producing Sidney Lumet's Network (1976), which did not win the best picture trophy but did take four Oscars — for Chayefsky and actors Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight — amid its 10 noms.

The producer was...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Disney-Fox Deal Expected for Thursday (Report)

Disney-Fox Deal Expected for Thursday (Report)
A mega deal between Disney and Fox will be announced on Thursday, according to a new report on CNBC.

The $60 billion-plus pact will see Disney acquire key entertainment and sports assets from 21st Century Fox, including its film and TV studio. The CNBC report follows a Monday announcement that Comcast has opted out of its pursuit for Fox.

A spokesman for Fox declined comment. A Disney spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares of Disney were up 0.44% in early morning trading to just over $107, while shares of Fox rose .33% to $33.37.

Not all of Fox’s assets will go to Disney. The company will retain Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, and Fox Sports 1, which will be reconstituted into a new, independent company. According to CNBC, that would be worth roughly $10 a share. As part of the deal, Fox shareholders will get a stake in the new company, along with shares of Disney.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Palestinian Annemarie Jacir’s ‘Wajib’ Wins Big at Dubai Festival

Palestinian Annemarie Jacir’s ‘Wajib’ Wins Big at Dubai Festival
Dubai, United Arab Emirates — The 14th Dubai Int’l Film Festival handed out prizes Dec. 13 at an afternoon awards ceremony preceding the evening gala premiere of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” The Muhr feature jury, headed by prominent German actress Martina Gedeck, gave the best fiction feature nod to the poignant Palestinian father-son drama “Wajib,” helmed by Annemarie Jacir. The film also nabbed the best actor kudo, shared by real-life father and son co-stars, Mohammed and Saleh Bakri.

Syrian director Ziad Khalthoum secured the best non-fiction prize for “Taste Of Cement,” focusing on the dire situation for Syrian construction workers in Beirut. Lebanese helmer Lucien Bourjeily scored the special jury prize for the drama “Heaven Without People.”

Rounding out the feature awards, Algerian Sofia Djama took best director for the France-Belgium-Qatar production “The Blessed,” while Menha El Batroui earned the best actress nod for her work in indie Egyptian drama “Cactus Flower.”

Prolific Egyptian
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Mamoru Hosoda Animation ‘Mirai’ Set for July Release

Japanese animation maestro, Mamoru Hosoda will release his new feature on July 20, 2018 distributor Toho announced.

Titled “Mirai of the Future” (“Mirai no Mirai”,) the film centers on a four-year-old boy who feels his place in his parent’s affections threatened by the arrival of a baby sister, Mirai. Then she reveals herself as a girl from the future.

Hosoda has credits that include the 2006 teen fantasy “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” and the 2015 hit “The Boy and the Beast” He is making the film with Studio Chizu, the animation house he founded in 2011. Nippon Television is among the committee of co-producers.

Early in the millennium Hosoda was hired by Studio Ghibli to direct “Howl’s Moving Castle,” an animation based on a children’s novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones. Studio co-founder Hayao Miyazaki took over the project, however, and Hosoda left Ghibli under a cloud.

Ironically, Hosoda was hailed as the next Miyazaki when he
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Once-Powerful Indie Player Wild Bunch Seeks a White Knight

Wild Bunch is teetering on the financial brink as it tries to restructure its debt, raise capital, deal with an exodus of high-level executives and shore up its once-promising TV unit and flailing distribution activities, multiple sources say.

Over the past couple years, the flamboyant European powerhouse has been able to weather a growing financial storm and continue backing prestige movies thanks to its reputation and the help of friendly lending institutions. But it has recently taken steps to find a buyer to acquire the company in full or in part, and/or to sell some assets. It will have to do so within the next four or five months to stay afloat, an industry source close to Wild Bunch tells Variety, adding that two investment funds that specialize in turnaround situations are now circling the company.

Wild Bunch, headed by Vincent Grimond, Vincent Maraval, Brahim Chioua and Max Sturm, declined requests for comment.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Palestine’s Foreign Oscar Candidate ‘Wajib’ Scores Multiple Sales (Exclusive)

Palestine’s Foreign Oscar Candidate ‘Wajib’ Scores Multiple Sales (Exclusive)
French sales company Pyramide International has scored multiple sales on Palestinian auteur Annemarie Jacir’s “Wajib,” which is Palestine’s submission for the foreign-language Oscar and just had its Middle East bow at the Dubai Film Festival.

The wry comedy toplining prominent Palestinian actors Mohammad Bakri and Saleh Bakri, working together for the first time, has been acquired by Satine Films for Italy; Festival Films for Spain; Potential Films for Australia and New Zealand; Astro for South East Asia; and Times Vision for China. Amazon has taken streaming rights for the U.S. where theatrical rights remain open.

Wajib” takes place in a day during which a divorced father and his visiting son drive around Nazareth in an old Volvo delivering invitations to their female sibling’s wedding and the twists and turns in their uneasy relationship unfold. It “encapsulates the differences between Palestinians living in Israel and those living abroad,” wrote Variety
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CineAsia: India’s Multiplex Pioneer Ajay Bijli Talks Cinema Growth, Digital Threats

As the chairman and managing director of India’s largest cinema chain, PVR Cinemas, Ajay Bijli has been a trailblazer credited with revolutionizing the country’s exhibition industry.

Back in 1997, Bijli opened the country’s first multiplex in the capital New Delhi at a time when single-screen cinemas were struggling against rampant video piracy.

New Delhi-headquartered PVR was launched as a joint venture in 1995 between Bijli’s Priya Exhibitors and Australia's Village Roadshow, which exited the venture in 2002. The move signaled a diversification for Bijli, 50, who comes from a business family that runs a trucking company.

In...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

CineAsia: India’s PVR Signs Bumper Deal With 4Dx

Nearly two dozen additional cinema auditoriums with moving seats, smells and water effects will be coming to India. That follows an agreement between the country’s leading multiplex chain, PVR, and the Korean equipment manufacturer 4Dx.

PVR opened its first 4Dx theater in Noida, near New Delhi, and is currently adding three more. The deal, signed at the CineAsia convention in Hong Kong, will see the multi-sensory equipment installed as new in PVR’s upcoming multiplexes and a handful of retrofit locations.

The company expects to have 21 4Dx screens in operation by the end of 2019. The deal requires that no other cinema operator can operate a 4Dx screen within a 10-kilometer radius of PVR’s.

PVR said that the equipment has been well received by Indian filmmakers and audiences. “We’ve seen people traveling 40 km or 50 km to visit the Noida facility,” said Gautam Dutta, PVR CEO. “Indian filmmakers were hesitant when we had only one site
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Titanic,’ ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Memento’ Added to National Film Registry

‘Titanic,’ ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Memento’ Added to National Film Registry
James Cameron’s disaster epic “Titanic,” the beloved fantasy “The Goonies,” Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and 1989’s “Field of Dreams” are among the 25 films selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.

The 2017 selections range from obscure documentaries to a Mexican-American family’s home movies from 1920s Texas to Disney’s 1941 animated classic “Dumbo” to the 1979 Luis Valdez-directed drama “Boulevard Nights” to 1960’s “Spartacus,” the Kirk Douglas-Stanley Kubrick sword-and-sandal drama that helped end the era of the blacklist.

The titles will be added to the Library’s collection of films designated as having cultural, social or aesthetic significance.

“Our love affair with motion pictures is a testament to their enduring power to enlighten, inspire and inform us as individuals and a nation as a whole,” said Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. “Being tasked with selecting only 25 each year is daunting because there are so many great films deserving of this honor
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Die Hard,' 'Titanic,' 'Superman' Enter the National Film Registry

'Die Hard,' 'Titanic,' 'Superman' Enter the National Film Registry
Yippee ki-yay and Merry Christmas! Die Hard is among the 25 motion pictures selected this year by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress to be preserved for future generations, it was announced Wednesday.

The latest round of films deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant also includes the James Cameron blockbuster Titanic (1997); Superman (1978) and The Goonies (1985), both directed by Richard Donner; the Phil Alden Robinson baseball fable Field of Dreams (1989), starring Kevin Costner; and Spencer Tracy's final film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).

Two films starring Kirk Douglas, who just had his 101st...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Showbiz Event Planners Compete for the Glam Slam

Showbiz Event Planners Compete for the Glam Slam
Awards season’s social marathon is upon us. For event planners, Los Angeles and New York City have what it takes to entertain and entice the glitterati. Venues pull out all the stops with of-the-moment menus for showbiz’s particular eaters, free-flowing craft cocktails and vintage bubbles. Eye-popping decor is a given. Here are some new or newish places that will please the glammed-up crowd this awards season.

Los Angeles

Above It All: 18 Social at Hotel Indigo Los Angeles

Downtown L.A.’s latest venue options include the 350-room Hotel Indigo, close to the Nokia Theater and Staples Center. There’s a nod to old Hollywood in the hotel’s graphic wall coverings. Hotel Indigo opened in April with more than 21,000 square feet of meeting space: the neon-accented 18 Social is the hotel’s view-rich 18th floor bar and lounge where there’s a private room for 50 or space for 200 via a buyout.

899 Francisco St. Los Angeles,
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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