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Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo Esposito

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 10:26am PDT

Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Adds Christopher Walken & Giancarlo EspositoChristopher Walken will voice King Louie, the ruler of a troop of monkeys and apes, and Giancarlo Esposito will play Akela, leader of the wolf pack, in Disney‘s Jungle Book. It’s the latest edition to the live-action/animation hybrid pic, which Jon Favreau is directing from a script by Justin Marks. The duo join Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa and newcomer Neel Sethi as Mowgli – the only actor to physically appear on screen. The 3D pic has an October 9, 2015 release date.

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EMMYS: Record 11 Black Actors & Actresses Nominated Across All Categories

EMMYS: Record 11 Black Actors & Actresses Nominated Across All CategoriesLast year Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle made Emmy history as two African American actors breaking through the lead acting categories at the same time with nominations.  Not only did they both earn nominations again this year, but a total of 11 Black actors and actresses were nominated across all acting categories — the most since 1977 when Roots racked up nine nominations for its castmembers according to TV Academy stats (Roots wound up winning trophies for Olivia Cole  and Louis Gossett Jr).  Last year Washington’s nom for Scandal repped the first in nearly two decades for a black actress, the last being Cicely Tyson in 1995′s Sweet Justice. This year, Washington will be running into Tyson on the red carpet as she’s also up for an nomination in the lead movie/miniseries actress category for The Trip to Bountiful. Another big year for Black thesps was 1986, when The Cosby Show earned eight acting nominations and a guest comedy actor win for Roscoe Lee Browne. Typically the Emmys, similar to the Oscars, has been criticized for a lack of diversity in the past.

mark evan jackson“It’s a testament to the storytelling that is going on out there,” Andre Braugher, who plays Captain Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, said this morning about the record. “If you look at what Fox is doing with diverse comedies, there’s The Mindy Project and our show. There’s a new dimension of half-hour comedies that don’t depend on stereotypes or the boxes we put people in. I play a … Read More »

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EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting Categories

EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting CategoriesCor blimey, the British aren’t coming — they’re here to stay. Including Ricky Gervais’ surprise Emmy nomination as Lead Actor in a Comedy series for Derek this morning, there are 15 nods for Brits in the acting races this year. If we add voice-overs, Jeremy Irons and Daniel Craig would make it 17 performance nods. Last year, there were 14 total.

British actors have been plying their trade in U.S. series for ages, but this crop boasts a lot of British-based (or instigated) productions and co-productions rather than U.S. shows à la Homeland. The UK TV tax credit has encouraged British broadcasters to strive for increasingly ambitious productions.

dancing on the edgeAlong with Gervais, whose Derek was originally commissioned for Channel 4 before being picked up by Netflix, there’s a big group from perennial Downton Abbey, a co-pro of Carnival Films and Masterpiece; a first Emmy nod for Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in BBC miniseries Dancing On The Edge, which Starz airs Stateside; Idris Elba in Luther, another BBC show that goes out on BBC America; and Helena Bonham Carter playing the British-American Elizabeth Taylor in BBC and BBC America co-pro Burton & Taylor. And, of course, Sherlock is back this year. Benedict Cumberbatch scored a Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie spot … Read More »

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Primetime Emmys: Full List Of Nominees

By | Thursday July 10, 2014 @ 5:53am PDT

Primetime Emmys: Full List Of NomineesThe 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning at the TV Academy in North Hollywood. Netflix fared well with Best Series nominations in both comedy and drama categories, with Orange Is The New Black in the former and House Of Cards in the latter. HBO fared well with noms for rookie Silicon Valley and Veep on the comedy side and Game Of Thrones and True Detective on the drama side. Both of that series’ stars, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrleson, received nods in the actor category, as did Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm. The AMC show is back in the drama race with Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey rounding out the category. On the comedy side, the top category includes reigning champ Modern Family, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s Louie.

Here’s the full list of noms:

Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory
CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television

Louie
FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc. and FX Productions

Modern Family
ABC • Picador Productions and Steven Levitan Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television

Orange Is The New Black
Netflix • Lionsgate Television for Netflix

Silicon Valley
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Judgemental Films, Alec Berg, Altschuler Krinsky works, and 3 Arts Entertainment

Veep
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Dundee Productions

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad
AMC • Sony Pictures Television

Downton Abbey
PBS • A Carnival Films/Masterpiece Co-Production in association with NBC Universal

Game Of Thrones
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions

House Of Cards
Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix

Mad Men
AMC • Lionsgate Television

True Detective
HBO • HBO Entertainment in association with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: Maggie Gyllenhaal Is ‘The Honourable Woman’ As U.S. Actresses Infiltrate UK Drama

Hot TV Trailer: Maggie Gyllenhaal Is ‘The Honourable Woman’ As U.S. Actresses Infiltrate UK DramaFrom Hugh Laurie to Idris Elba and Dominic West, there’s a history of British actors heading to America to ply their trade on U.S. TV. Now, with increasingly provocative drama spurred on in part by the UK’s high-end tax credit, a handful of American women have begun a mini-trend on British telly in the past year. After Gillian Anderson in The Fall and Elisabeth Moss in Top Of The Lake, along comes Maggie Gyllenhaal who just debuted as the protagonist of BBC Two’s eight-part miniseries The Honourable Woman. The series was originally commissioned by BBC Two and is a co-production from BBC Worldwide and Sundance Channel in the U.S. The first episode aired late last week in the UK to favorable reviews and solid ratings with an average 2.13M viewers and a 10.6% share. It hits the States on July 31 — sans the “u” in the title. The fast-paced, labyrinthine thriller is set against an international political backdrop and centers on Nessa Stein (Gyllenhaal), whose father was a Zionist arms procurer. As children, she and her brother were witness to his assassination. As an adult, inheriting her father’s company, Stein dramatically inverts its purpose from supplying arms to laying high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank. Her sudden appointment to the House of Lords, apparently due to her tireless promotion of projects for reconciliation between the Israelis and Palestinians, creates an international political maelstrom. … Read More »

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First Look Photo: Idris Elba In Cary Fukunaga’s ‘Beasts Of No Nation’

By | Friday June 27, 2014 @ 11:06am PDT

First Look Photo: Idris Elba In Cary Fukunaga’s ‘Beasts Of No Nation’EXCLUSIVE: Cary Fukunaga directs Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba in the child-soldier drama Beasts Of No Nation, adapted by Fukunaga from Uzodinma Iweala’s novel. Elba, who also is producing, stars as Commandant, whose guerrilla group young Agu is forced to join when civil war tears his family apart and militants kill his father. Fukunaga is coming off his acclaimed HBO drama series True Detective, which he’ll return to exec produce for a second season. He wrote Beasts and is directing and shooting it in Ghana. Producers are Amy Kaufman for Primary Productions, Daniela Taplin Lundberg & Riva Marker for Red Crown Productions, Cary Fukunaga for his Parliament of Owls, Idris Elba and Daniel Crown. Executive Producers are Participant Media and New Balloon Investments. Scroll down for Deadline’s full exclusive look: Read More »

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UPDATE: Guillermo Del Toro Reveals ‘Pacific Rim’ Animated Series As Universal Confirms Film’s Sequel For April 2017

UPDATE: Guillermo Del Toro Reveals ‘Pacific Rim’ Animated Series As Universal Confirms Film’s Sequel For April 2017UPDATED, 7:28 PM: The Oscar-nominated filmmaker takes a break from working on Crimson Peak in Toronto to tell “Legendary fans” to expect a new TV toon based on Pacific Rim, along with the continuation of the coming book series that started with Year Zero. Watch it below:

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Ben Kingsley To Voice Bagheera In Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’

By | Wednesday June 25, 2014 @ 11:25am PDT

Ben Kingsley To Voice Bagheera In Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley has joined the voice cast of Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book. He’ll play Bagheera, the black panther companion to human Mowgli first made famous in Rudyard Kipling’s 19th century collection of short stories. Idris Elba is already aboard as the villanous Shere Khan. Jon Favreau is directing the new Jungle Book from a script by Justin Marks. Disney will release the pic on October 9, 2015.

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Hot Trailer: ‘Dolphin Tale 2′

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 5:54pm PDT

dolphin tale 2WB’s first Dolphin Tale hit #1 at the 2011 box office and squeaked in a cool $95M worldwide. Why not double down on the dolphin drama? Here’s the new trailer for sequel Dolphin Tale 2, which returns original cast members Harry Connick, Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Nathan Gamble, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Austin Stowell, and Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail, playing herself. They’re joined by surfer Bethany Hamilton and neophyte Delphinidae diva Hope, who also plays herself as the potential new lady companion whose arrival at Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium might save Winter from being sent to a new aquatic home.

Charles Martin Smith is back at the helm as writer-director. Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (The Blind Side) are producers alongside Alcon’s Richard Ingber. Pic swims into theaters September 12; how big a box office splash will it make opposite Sony’s Idris Elba-Taraji P. Henson home invasion thriller No Good Deed and Universal comedy Search Party, starring T.J. Miller? Check out the trailer: Read More »

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EMMYS: Hammond On Miniseries Contenders And Lingering Controversies

Pete Hammond

Awardsline logo_use this oneMiniseries are coming of age again, at least according to the Television Academy, whose Board of Governors voted this year to once again give it a category of its own. This has been done from time to time depending on the health and general welfare of the miniseries format. For example, in 2011, the TV Academy felt longform television was dying on the vine and that there was just not enough entries to meet its “Rule of 14” (the minimum number of possible contenders needed to trigger a category). The networks were downsizing the form and, outside of the BBC and HBO, there wasn’t a whole lot of interest. But now, minis are exploding again and a new golden age seems to be on the horizon.

With minis roaring back on their own—they are still combined with movies in the acting, writing and directing categories—what will the landscape look like when nominees are announced July 10?

Not a Shoo-In
True DetectiveGoing into the competition, many pundits thought it was all wrapped up. HBO—which has had a streak of miniseries winners with John Adams, The Pacific, Band of Brothers and Angels in America—looked as though it had another slam dunk with its eight-part True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It won near-unanimous raves and appeared unbeatable, particularly since, with the mini/movie split, it would not be competing with … Read More »

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Cannes: Open Road, StudioCanal Date Sean Penn-Starrer ‘The Gunman’ In February 2015

the gunmanDirected by Pierre Morel, The Gunman stars Sean Penn as a former Special Forces soldier and military contractor suffering from PTSD. He tries to reconnect with his longtime love but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)Europe to clear his name. The movie was a huge sales title for StudioCanal in Cannes last year, and Open Road earlier this month acquired it for the U.S. The action thriller, which also stars Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca, now has been set for a February 20 stateside release. StudioCanal, which has the movie in its home territories, will go first on February 18 in France, followed by Australia and New Zealand on February 19. It will time the UK release to the U.S. and open in Germany a week later on February 26. The Gunman originally had a December 2014 release in France, but I understand the switch was made to accommodate a closer day-and-date with the U.S.

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Cannes: More Domestic Activity Than Expected; Offshore Soft; Russia In A “Panic”

Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)Heading into Cannes, the refrain was roundly the same as the one we heard going into the last big market, February’s EFM in Berlin. Whether it be from sales people, buyers or producers both foreign and domestic, there was a lament that the big projects had failed to materialize and that despite hopes to the contrary, this would be a very soft sojourn on the Croisette. One buyer called the situation a “catastrophe.” It is simply harder to pull together exciting packages, execs said, as talent attachments take longer and numbers are harder to hit. Still, if international dealmaking was in line with expectations, there was a jolt in domestic deals from the get-go. On the eve of the market, Paramount spent a record $20M on Story Of Your Life. The deal for the Denis Villeneuve-directed sci-fi pic starring Amy Adams was brokered by Lava Bear’s David Linde with WME Global’s Graham Taylor and FilmNation’s Glen Basner. Basner was also in the middle of The Weinstein Co’s landmark $7M Berlin deal for The Imitation Game. That acquisition was the real news out of Berlin, but it did not have a knock-on effect of jump-starting what ended up to be a pretty tepid EFM.

the-weinstein-company-logo-1__140502172505-275x153On the contrary, the sunny skies in Cannes, after two years of non-stop downpours, were matched by a solid … Read More »

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Cannes: Focus Features Takes North America On Idris Elba Thriller ‘Bastille Day’

IdrisElbaStudiocanal added Bastille Day to its roster on the eve of the festival last week in a package that stars Idris Elba and Blue Is The Warmest Color‘s Adèle Exarchopoulos. Focus Features has now acquired North American distribution rights to the Cannes2014_badge__140417160328-150x150 (1)action thriller to be directed by The Woman In Black helmer James Watkins. Andrew Baldwin wrote the script for the Paris-set pic that sees a rogue CIA agent forced to team with an unsuspecting American con-artist to thwart a terrorist attack on French soil. Principal photography starts later this summer. Philippe Rousselet is producing via his Vendome Pictures along with Steve Golin, David Kanter, and Bard Dorros for Anonymous Content. Studiocanal is financing and handling international sales. It will distribute in France, the UK, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Cannes 2014: A Look At Hot Titles; Was It Over Before We Got Here And Paramount Made Record Deal?

Cannes2014_badgeIf there is a recurring theme among buyers and sellers we’ve spoken to in the early moments of the Cannes Film Festival, it is that none can remember the last time there was such a sellers’ market here on the Croisette. The trouble is, nobody seems to really have anything all that compelling to sell, and that is driving the sellers crazy.

amy adamsThe market opened in the grandest possible way, with a record-setting $20M deal as Paramount paid for North America and China rights to the Denis Villeneuve-directed science fiction film Story Of Your Life. Well, the weather has also been grand so far — the deals, not so much. In fact, the next one came as The Weinstein Company finally closed its long-expected deal for Grace Of Monaco, slashing its original $5M commitment almost in half for a film where director Olivier Dahan shot a version that didn’t reflect the original script, before unveiling it as the Cannes opening-night film to terrible reviews.

Related: Cannes: ‘Grace Of Monaco’ Opens Fest As Critics & Royals Take Aim

Since then, nobody has seemed in much of a hurry to gobble up much of anything. No one was saying Paramount spent drunkenly in setting the record with Story Of Your Life. The rationale: $20M for a movie with commercial potential budgeted around $50M, an actress who routinely garners Oscar nominations for her work in Amy Adams, and a director who is fast emerging, is something major Hollywood studios would pay any day. With a major U.S. wide release in place, Glen Basner’s FilmNation’s effort to finish sales around the world has been the equivalent of selling ice cream in the desert. Territories are paying generously, in a textbook example of how the deal-making here is supposed to work.

cannes opening nightIf only there were more of those films. A package could still fall into place that creates another feeding frenzy, but most sellers are resigned to kicking themselves for not having enough killer product and missing out on an opportunity. Buyers and sellers are moving warily, particularly those who are coming here with other projects that haven’t begun production, or are selling on the basis of a sizzle reel. Some of these movies might just as easily surface as Toronto business as walk away with a big Cannes deal. Then again, there are those that believe the lack of films that have come together with sought-after talent is not a momentary anomaly, but part of a larger trend. Read More »

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Cannes Briefs: K5 Thrills To Armie Hammer’s ‘Mine’; Studiocanal Adds Idris Elba & Tilda Swinton To Slate, More

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Cannes2014_badgeIn an eve of the market deal, Oliver Simon and Daniel Baur’s K5 International has acquired international rights to psychological thriller Mine starring and exec produced by Armie Hammer. Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro, the team behind awardArmieHammer_20110326174342-e1301161456715-260x300-winning short Afterville, are co-directing Mine from their own script. Hammer plays a soldier who finds himself stranded in the desert after a failed assassination mission. There, he has to survive the many dangers while also battling the psychological toll of his situation. Peter Safran is producing through the Safran Company, which is also financing. Joan Mao is co-producer. Production is set to start September in the Canary Islands. Hammer, who is next up in Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E., is repped by WME which is handling Mine in the U.S. along with Safran.

Related: Cannes: Emma Thompson & Daniel Bruhl ‘Alone In Berlin’, More

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Idris Elba, Shine North Ink Co-Production Deal; Charlotte Rampling Joins ‘Broadchurch’; More

Idris Elba’s Green Door Inks Co-Production Deal With Shine North
IdrisElbaAfter collaborating on BBC Two racing documentary King Of Speed, Idris Elba’s Green Door production shingle and Shine North have pacted to develop more factual programming. The exclusive co-production deal will see the two companies work together to develop and produce shows for the UK and international markets. Elba will produce and host. King Of Speed aired in the UK in December and then sold to more than 100 territories. Elba has honed his hosting skills on other UK specials including Channel 4’s How Hip Hop Changed The World and How Clubbing Changed The World. He launched Green Door last year, and the shop is in development on scripted projects for various UK broadcasters. The nonscripted collaboration will be creatively managed by Shine North’s Rick Murray who exec produced King Of Speed with Elba. Shine International will handle world sales. Read More »

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Cannes: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Gwyneth Paltrow To Keep ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’; Billy Ray Helming Remake For Bustling IM Global

chiwetel ejioforgwyneth paltrowIM Global is coming to the Riviera with its biggest Cannes slate ever, and has just added a project that’s got a big awards pedigree. Oscar nominated writer Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games) is set to helm The Secret In Their Eyes from his own screenplay that’s adapted from Juan José Campanella’s 2009 Foreign Language Film Oscar winner. Best Actor Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow are im globalplaying the lead roles in the crime thriller. Oscar and Emmy winner Mark Johnson (Rain Man, Breaking Bad) is producing along with John Ufland. IM Global starts sales on the project in Cannes with production scheduled to start this fall in Boston.

Cannes2014_badgeEjiofor will play a former MI-5 agent who returns to Boston on a joint task force with the FBI, still obsessed by the unsolved murder that continues to haunt him. As he inches closer to solving the crime, he uncovers a shocking truth that will shed a terrifying new light on past events. IM Global founder and CEO Stuart Ford says, “Billy has written a wonderfully intelligent, twisting screenplay and we’re lucky enough to have attached two world class acting talents at the top of their game for Secret. We’re confident of bringing further great cast on board as we move towards production.” Johnson adds, “The thought of combining the originality of the original film with the talent of Billy Ray and the support off IM Global is irresistible.” Ford, Matt Jackson and Campanella are exec producing. CAA arranged financing for the film and reps domestic rights. Ray is repped by CAA and Management 360; Ejiofor is repped by CAA and Alex Irwin at Markham, Froggatt and Irwin; and Paltrow is repped by Shani Rosenzweig and Tracey Jacobs at UTA and Aleen Keshishian at Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

As IM Global evolves into what founder and CEO Stuart Ford calls “an international facing studio,” the company continues to work with diverse filmmakers from all corners. Ford says, “It’s very exciting and a real privilege to be the platform for so many great movies and such phenomenal talent.”

The Secret In Their Eyes joins a host of other IM Global titles including Forsaken from Gravity co-writer Jonas Cuaron. Formerly known as Desierto, the thriller stars Gael García Bernal and Jeffrey Dean Morgan Read More »

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UPDATE: Open Road Acquires Jon Stewart’s ‘Rosewater’ With Fall Release Planned

Mike Fleming

jonsUPDATE, 9:55 AM: Open Road has made it official, announcing this morning that it acquired Jon Stewart‘s Rosewater. A fall release is planned and the OddLot-financed adaptation will be shown and to select buyers in Cannes. The full release is below our original exclusive.

PREVIOUS EXCLUSIVE, FRIDAY PM : Open Road is nearing a deal to acquire U.S. rights to Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s feature directorial debut Rosewater, an adaptation of the Maziar Bahari book Then They Came For Me: A Family’s Story Of Love, Captivity And Survival. Stewart wrote the script and took a summer hiatus from his Comedy Central show to direct. OddLot Entertainment fully financed the film and Gigi Pritzker and Scott Rudin produced it.

Related:  Jon Stewart To Direct First Film And “Challenge” Himself

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Ray Winstone Joins ‘Point Break’

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 11:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

winstonerayRay Winstone will be getting his inner Gary Busey on as he is pay or play in the role of Pappas in the Point Break remake that Alcon Entertainment is prepping for a June production start with Ericson Core directing. Luke Bracey is playing the undercover cop Johnny Utah role originated by Keanu Reeves, and they are looking hard to replace Gerard Butler in the Zen villain role of Bodhi, originated by the late Patrick Swayze in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed 1991 film that remains a guilty pleasure. Resolution-repped Winstone is coming off Noah, and will next be seen co-starring in the Pierre Morel-directed The Gunman with Sean Penn, Javier Bardem and Idris Elba. Open Road is closing a deal for domestic distributor on that Studiocanal-backed film.

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