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‘Anaconda’ Reboot in the Works at Sony With ‘Divergent’ Writer

‘Anaconda’ Reboot in the Works at Sony With ‘Divergent’ Writer
Sony Pictures is in early development of a reboot of the “Anaconda” franchise, hiring “Divergent” writer Evan Daugherty to write the project.

The studio has not set up the project with a producer, director or actors.

Sony released the original “Anaconda” in 1997 as a horror thriller starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, Eric Stoltz and Owen Wilson. Directed by Luis Llosa, the plot centered on Lopez’ character heading a documentary film crew looking for a long-lost tribe along the Amazon River, only to see the expedition taken over by a nefarious snake hunter, played by Voight, leading to several horrific encounters with a massive green serpent.

Anaconda” was a success with a worldwide gross of $135 million on a $45 million budget. That led to a 2004 sequel “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,” set in Borneo, as the protagonists sought a life-extending flower on a remote island inhabited by deadly snakes.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Bambi’ Live-Action Remake Lands ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Chaos Walking’ Writers

  • The Wrap
‘Bambi’ Live-Action Remake Lands ‘Captain Marvel,’ ‘Chaos Walking’ Writers
On the heels of 2019’s “The Lion King,” another Disney animated classic is getting the live-action treatment as “Bambi” has landed the writers behind “Captain Marvel” and “Chaos Walking.”

Disney has hired Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Lindsey Beer to write the script for the live-action remake of the 1942 animated classic.

Depth of Field (“The Farewell”), the production banner run by Chris and Paul Weitz and Andrew Miano, will produce the live action remake.

The original coming of age animated classic centered on a young deer named Bambi who joins his new friends, a rabbit named Thumper and a skunk named Flower, in exploring his forest home. As Bambi grows up, he learns that there is tragedy as well as beauty and joy in his forest world and on the path to adulthood. The film received three Oscar nominations — best song, best score and best sound.

The studio is having major successes
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Taylor Swift Bows Out of Unannounced Grammy Performance

Taylor Swift Bows Out of Unannounced Grammy Performance
Taylor Swift has bowed out of a possible performance on the Grammy Awards program Sunday night just as stealthily as it appeared she might have bowed into it, multiple sources tell Variety.

Her possible appearance on the show had been kept a secret — albeit not an extremely well-kept secret — so her exit won’t create the problems that would have occurred if one of the many performers that had been announced were to have taken their leave.

Sources say that she was never formally confirmed for the show, though hopes were high that the show could nail down an appearance
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Box Office: ‘The Gentlemen’ Opens With $725,000 on Thursday Night

Box Office: ‘The Gentlemen’ Opens With $725,000 on Thursday Night
STX's Matthew McConaughey crime comedy “The Gentlemen” has opened with a moderate $725,000 at 1,885 North American locations on Thursday night.

Horror thriller “The Turning” launched with $425,000 at 2,200 sites on Thursday night. The movie, based on Henry James’ 1898 novella “The Turn of the Screw,” stars Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard and Brooklynn Prince.

Neither new entry is expected to top Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which has over-performed with $83 million domestically in its first six days. The third installment in the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence franchise beat expectations over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday with $73 million and could add another $30 million during its second session.

The Gentlemen” has been pegged to earn around $10 million when it debuts in 2,100 theaters. That would be a solid start, since Stx shelled out $7 million to buy U.S. rights from Miramax. McConaughey stars as an American expat looking to cash out of the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer ‘My Salinger Year’

Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer ‘My Salinger Year’
The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley.

Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and gets hired as an assistant to Margaret (Weaver), the stoic and old-fashioned literary agent of J. D. Salinger.

Fluctuating between poverty and glamour, Joanna spends her days in a plush office and her nights in a sink-less Brooklyn apartment with her socialist boyfriend.

“We are delighted to open the 70th edition of the festival with a coming-of-age story that takes the viewpoint of the protagonist who has a fresh perspective, which is in no way naïve,” said Carlo Chatrian, the new artistic director of the Berlin Film Festival.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Marvel TV Shows ‘Howard the Duck’ and ‘Tigra & Dazzler’ Will Not Move Forward at Hulu

  • The Wrap
Marvel TV Shows ‘Howard the Duck’ and ‘Tigra & Dazzler’ Will Not Move Forward at Hulu
Marvel’s “Howard the Duck” and “Tigra & Dazzler” animated series are no longer moving forward at Hulu, an individual with knowledge of the projects told TheWrap.

The other two, “M.O.D.O.K.” and “Hit Monkey,” are still in development. The individual added that the decision to scrap the two shows came from Marvel. With half of the planned four series now dead, the crossover “The Offenders” is also unlikely to happen.

Last year, Hulu announced an expansive multi-series commitment with Marvel TV that would consist of the aforementioned four series, and the crossover. This now leaves Hulu with only three Marvel TV series, as Kevin Feige continues to wind down Marvel TV’s roster in the months after it was moved under Marvel Studios. In addition to the two animated series, Hulu is also developing a live-action “Helstrom” series, which will star Elizabeth Marvel, Tom Austen and Sydney Lemmon.
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‘The Go-Go’s’ Film Review: Transcendent Rock Doc Examines 1980s Glass-Ceiling Shatterers

  • The Wrap
‘The Go-Go’s’ Film Review: Transcendent Rock Doc Examines 1980s Glass-Ceiling Shatterers
The meteoric and ruinous rise to fame is more than a movie cliché; it’s a virtual guarantee for just about any artist without his or her head screwed on straight. But “The Go-Go’s” tackles the seminal all-female ’80s rock band with such honesty, openness and effervescence that it not only rises above that clichéd, almost telegraphed arc but transcends the ranks of other music documentaries to offer a story you desperately want to keep watching, even when you already know where it’s going.

It’s fascinating to think of the performers of “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “Head Over Heels” and even their earliest hit “We Got the Beat” as punk rockers, but “The Go-Go’s” reminds audiences of the band’s scrappy origins as a group of young women inspired by the Los Angeles punk scene to start their own band. Though members Belinda Carlisle, Jane Wiedlin,
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‘Miss Juneteenth’: Film Review

‘Miss Juneteenth’: Film Review
“Miss Juneteenth” richly captures the slow pace of ebbing small-town Texas life, even if you might wish there were a bit more narrative momentum to pick up the slack in writer-director Channing Godfrey People’s first feature. She’s got a very relatable heroine in Nicole Beharie’s Turquoise, an erstwhile local beauty queen whose crown proved the peak rather than the kickoff to her dream of a better life — high hopes now transferred to a daughter reluctant to inherit that burden.

This portrait of a whole community dogged by debt and diminishing prospect has a basic authenticity that will ring true for many viewers unaccustomed to seeing themselves onscreen. That is, people whose aspirations toward the middle-class American Dream grow ever more remote as the middle class itself struggles to maintain its position.

Juneteenth is celebrated in many African American communities, but got its start and raison d’être in the Lone Star state,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sony Pushes ‘Uncharted’ Movie Back 3 Months, Takes ‘Masters of the Universe’ Off the Schedule

  • The Wrap
Sony has pushed back the release date of its live action adaptation of “Uncharted” from Dec 18, 2020 to March 5, 2021, the date originally set aside for the studio’s live action adaptation of the “Masters of the Universe” cartoon series and toy line.

Masters of the Universe” has subsequently been removed from Sony’s release schedule and is now dated “Tbd” by the studio.

Based on the popular Playstation action adventures video game series, “Uncharted” will star Tom Holland as Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter and adventurer whose quests for rare and mythical artifacts often runs him afoul of drug lords, war criminals and other assorted bad guys. A director for the film hasn’t been formally announced, but just this month Ruben Fleischer became Sony’s top choice.

Also Read: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Expected to Spin Dash to $45 Million Opening at Box Office

Most recently set to be directed
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‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ Film Review: Eliza Hittman’s Powerful Teen Abortion Drama Explores Access and Friendship

  • The Wrap
‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ Film Review: Eliza Hittman’s Powerful Teen Abortion Drama Explores Access and Friendship
Few indie directors today navigate private spaces and fraught environments as effectively as Eliza Hittman, whose first two features “It Felt Like Love” and “Beach Rats” heralded a singular chronicler of young people in the thick of complicated desire.

With “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” which premiered at Sundance and will be released by Focus on March 13, Hittman looks at one of the consequences of desire, as specifically experienced by the half that can get pregnant. In relaying a pair of teenage cousins’ tense overnight journey across the state line, Hittman wades into one of the more charged subjects of our time — abortion access — with the kind of sensitivity, focus and detail that will ensure its place as a dramatic standard for how to put a human face on a controversial topic.

Despite a tone that avoids explicit politics, there’s absolutely no question where Hittman’s sympathies lie as she
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‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’: Film Review

‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’: Film Review
The basic plot of “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is easy enough to describe. A 17-year-old girl named Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) winds up pregnant in a small Pennsylvania town. Prevented from seeking an abortion by the state’s parental consent laws, she takes off for New York City with her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), where what they’d assumed would be a one-day procedure winds up proving considerably more complicated.

But that synopsis, and the polemical “issue movie” treatment it might suggest, hardly does justice to the surgically precise emotional calibration of writer-director Eliza Hittman’s exceptional film, which is both of a piece with, and a significant step forward from, her prior youth-in-crisis works “Beach Rats” and “It Felt Like Love.” At once dreamlike and ruthlessly naturalistic, steadily composed yet shot through with roiling currents of anxiety, “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” is a quietly devastating gem.

When we first meet Autumn – introverted,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Go-Go’s on Sundance Doc: Neither ‘America’s Sweethearts’ Nor ‘Drug-Crazed Demons’

Some people might come to a Go-Go’s documentary wanting a purely fun, bubbly experience, based on the effervescence the group projected at its breakthrough peak in the early ’80s. Others might want a sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll tell-all, if they’re aware of the tensions and bad habits that led the all-female band to acrimoniously break up in the mid-’80s.

Debauchery, or debutantes — which vision of the Go-Go’s would filmmaker Alison Ellwood (“History of the Eagles”) favor?

As the group and their director stopped by Variety‘s Sundance studio for a video interview Thursday, right before the film’s premiere, it was clear they were happy that pop-punk frolic got its due in the new movie, since the sordid side of things already got a protracted hashing out in a VH1 “Behind the Music” 20 years ago.

“I was really happy that Alison focused a lot on the fun we had,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Ad Time in Fox’s Super Bowl Was Sold Out. Until it Wasn’t

Fox declared in November that it had sold all the advertising time available in its looming February 2 broadcast of Super Bowl Liv. But just this week, it found a little more.

After holding nearly two months’ worth of discussions, Fox and the National Football League have devised a way to add commercial inventory to an event that in most years limits the amount of advertising that can be shown. While Fox and the NFL had long planned this year to trim one ad break from each quarter of the 2020 game, the pair discovered demand from some key sponsors was so
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘The Dissident’ Revives Jamal Khashoggi’s Brutal Murder: ‘Has the Sacrificial Victim Arrived?’

  • The Wrap
‘The Dissident’ Revives Jamal Khashoggi’s Brutal Murder: ‘Has the Sacrificial Victim Arrived?’
There are few international crimes more outrageous than the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, slaughtered by agents of his own government at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul over a year ago.

Time has passed; the world has moved on. But a new documentary about exactly what happened to him is sure to stir renewed outrage, providing excruciating details of the execution itself and deeper context around Saudi Arabia’s manipulation of social media to control and punish those who speak out.

The Dissident,” by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Bryan Fogel, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday and received a standing ovation before a group that included Khashoggi’s former fiancé, Arab freedom activists and a U.N. official who reported on the atrocity and recommended action against the regime’s leader Mohammad Bin Salman, or Mbs. (None was taken.)

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Sentences 5 People to Death for
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‘The Dissident’: Film Review

‘The Dissident’: Film Review
It’s become common, if not cliché, for a critic reviewing a documentary about a turbulent real-world event to write something like, “It exerts the power of a true-life thriller!” Well, make no mistake: “The Dissident” does. Directed by Bryan Fogel, who in 2017 made the Oscar-winning “Icarus” (about the Russian doping of Olympic athletes), the movie is a full-blown investigation into the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Arabian Washington Post journalist whose gruesome murder, on Oct. 2, 2018, was in all likelihood conceived and ordered by the highest levels of the Saudi monarchy.

When it comes to edge-of-your-seat intrigue, this is a movie with just about everything. It’s got mystery and conspiracy coalescing around men of unfathomable power. It’s got inside-the-palace-walls homicidal backstabbing. It’s got a freedom-fighting martyr-hero, Khashoggi himself — a worldly and ebullient but increasingly lonely and isolated 60-year-old man who occupies a precarious middle ground between the Saudi regime,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Jumbo’ Film Review: Offbeat Love Story Joins Woman and Park Attraction For an Unusual Ride

  • The Wrap
‘Jumbo’ Film Review: Offbeat Love Story Joins Woman and Park Attraction For an Unusual Ride
Do you love your car? Or do you, um, love your car? And what if it loved you back?

Jumbo,” a movie inspired by the real-life woman who married the Eiffel Tower, claiming she’d fallen passionately in love with it, is Belgian writer-director Zoé Wittock’s fractured fairy tale of a feature debut about a withdrawn young woman played by “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” star Noémie Merlant, who develops deep emotional feelings for her local park’s newest passenger-spinning, brightly illuminated ride.

While it’s easy to imagine filmmakers from all parts of the outcast-fantasy firmament responding with glee at the cinematic doorways waiting to be opened if “Jumbo” shows post-festival life — Spielberg, Cronenberg, start your human-loves-thing engines! — Wittock’s film is ultimately more of a well-intended melodramatic experiment than a fully realized love story about one of the more curious corners of humanity’s sexual-psychological tapestry.
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Margot Robbie, ‘Birds of Prey’ Co-Stars Justify the Movie’s R-Rating, Violence and Cussing

Following the success of “Joker” last year, DC Films is continuing its gritty streak with “Birds of Prey,” a slam-bang adventure about Harley Quinn.

Though DC Film’s 2016 tentpole “Suicide Squad” took a critical bashing at the time, filmgoers quickly took a liking to Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Harley Quinn. “Birds of Prey” gives the fan favorite character her own adventure, having her ditch the male-dominated Squad to work alongside a rogues’ gallery of women.

For the creators behind the upcoming movie, an R-rating was the only way the project made any sense.

“Harley’s not really someone to hold back,” Robbie told Variety‘s Marc Malkin on Thursday at the opening of Harleywood in Hollywood. “The R-rating really allowed us to take it to the next level with fight scenes.”

Director Cathy Yan added, “The women are unabashedly themselves and very unapologetic in the movie. It was very
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film News Roundup: ‘The Irishman,’ ‘Marriage Story’ Added to Criterion Collection

In today’s film news roundup, four Netflix titles have been added to the Criterion Collection, Slamdance and ArcLight are partnering, Steven Grayhm is starring in and directing a paranormal drama, and The Mammoth Film Festival sets its lineup.

Criterion Collection

Four Netflix titles will be released on Blu-ray through the Criterion CollectionMartin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” documentary “American Factory” and Mati Diop’s “Atlantics.”

The streaming service had announced last year that Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” would be the first Netflix film to receive a home video debut via the Criterion Collection. Criterion specializes in licensing high-profile films and selling them to film aficionados.

The Irishman,” starring Robert DeNiro, received five Golden Globe nominations, ten BAFTA nominations and ten Academy Award nominations. It was the ninth Oscar nomination for Scorsese as a director, making him the most-nominated living director in Academy history.

“Marriage
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Martin Scorsese Is the Modern Maestro of Cinema, and Here’s How He Does It — Video

Martin Scorsese Is the Modern Maestro of Cinema, and Here’s How He Does It — Video
Is it possible we could be taking Martin Scorsese for granted? At November’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival tribute, watching Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in “Mean Streets” and “Taxi Driver,” De Niro and Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas,” “Casino,” and “The Irishman,” and Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Aviator,” “The Departed” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” it seemed so clear that Scorsese, who is nominated for both a DGA award and the directing Oscar, is the greatest director of our time.

What he accomplished in “The Irishman” would be an extraordinary feat of filmmaking for anyone. It’s not like the Oscar-nominated performances from Al Pacino as driven labor leader Jimmy Hoffa (working with Scorsese for the first time) and Joe Pesci as mafioso Russell Bufalino (pulled out of retirement for one last go with the master), or De Niro came out of nowhere. Scorsese worked hard with
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

NBC Orders Drama Pilot ‘Ordinary Joe’ From ‘House’ Alums

NBC has given out its fifth drama pilot order for the 2020-2021 season.

The broadcaster has commissioned “Ordinary Joe.” It explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you made your decision based on love, loyalty or passion.

Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner are writing and executive producing. The pair previously collaborated as executive producers on the Fox drama “House,” as well as shows like NBC’s “Rise” and the Fox comedy “Glee.
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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