20th Century Fox unveiled new footage and cast at Comic-Con on Friday for The Maze Runner, which bows September 19. It’s based on James Dashner’s bestselling YA novel about youngsters marooned on a maze-ridden island. Wes Ball directed and Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie Sangster and Aml Ameen star. Noah Oppenheim, Grant Myers and T.S. Nowlin adapted the book. The pic had been set for a February 2014 release but it was pushed back. That shouldn’t be an indication of unhappiness though — Fox already exercised the option to buy The Scorch Trials, the second book in Dashner’s four-book series. So is this looking franchise-worthy?
Veteran filmmaker Michael Apted‘s new documentary focuses on the relationship between the artisans who craft camera lenses and the photographers and cinematographers who use them. Bending The Light features never-before-seen footage from inside a premier Japanese lens factory and delivers interviews with two-time Oscar nominee Stephen Goldblatt, Greg Gorman, Laura El-Tantawy and Richard Barnes. The pic premieres August 3 at at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Here’s the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: Five-year-old Miles Scott touched hearts all over the world last November when he donned a cape and cowl to “save” Gotham City – aka, San Francisco – as “Batkid.” Now award-winning filmmaker Dana Nachman (Witch Hunt) is taking his story to the screen in a feature-length crowdfunded documentary (watch the trailer exclusively on Deadline).
The Batkid phenomenon went viral after the Make-a-Wish Foundation staged its most elaborate wish to date: The charity, with the help of The City, President Obama, and thousands of supporters, turned the streets of San Francisco into Gotham City on Nov. 15, 2013. Scott, a leukemia patient now in remission, got to live every superhero-loving child’s fantasy as he played sidekick to the Caped Crusader in a series of staged missions as onlookers cheered him on. It all culminated with Scott receiving the key to the city from Mayor Ed Lee. The entire event sparked more than 400K tweets in 117 countries, among much else social-media attention, and received a Digital Visionary Award from the Producers Guild.
UPDATED WITH TRAILER below.
PREVIOUS, 11:43 AM: At the Once Upon A Time Comic-Con panel this morning, series executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis showed a clip from the Season 4 premiere, where the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) enters a hospital, goes to a holding cell, and demands that her Mirror (Giancarlo Esposito) return. It was announced earlier in the month that Esposito was returning to the show. The executive producers mentioned that they are still working on the season premiere. Also shown from the premiere was a clip with Frozen characters Elsa and Anna (Georgina Haig and Elizabeth Lail, respectively) leaving flowers at the grave of their parents. Of course, the crowd here in Ballroom 20 went absolutely nuts.
ABC also revealed the Season 4 trailer. Check it out:
Whether there will ever be a musical version of Once Upon A Time, Kitsis said, “Problem with doing a musical, is we don’t know how.”
The trailer is out for the feature The Toy Soldiers, a set of five interwoven coming-of-age stories set in the 1980s and skating around a particular location, the Toy Soldiers Roller Rink, as it prepares to close permanently.
The film features Najarra Townsend, Nick Frangione, Constance Brenneman, and Jeanette May Steiner and was directed by Erik Peter Carlson (Transatlantic Coffee). The film will open in theaters Nov. 14 from Mance Media, which just acquired the film and announced it will show the title at AFM. TVOD, iTunes, DVD/Blu-ray, and a U.S. television premiere will follow.
Here’s the trailer:
EXCLUSIVE: LA- and Aussie-based surfing co. Globe and Whyte House Entertainment have teamed on new globe-trotting, psychedelic surfing docufilm Strange Rumblings In Shangri-La, which will world-premiere simultaneously in London and Long Beach at the U.S. Open of Surfing on July 31. Surf cinema veteran Joe G directed the film on Kodak Super 16mm, capturing a previously uncharted surfing expedition across waters off of Iceland, Mozambique, Indonesia, and Brazil with pro surfers from the Globe Surf Team including Dion Agius, Nate Tyler, Taj Burrow, Yadin Nicol, Damien Hobgood, Creed Mctaggart, CJ Hobgood, Alex Smith, Noa Deane, and Brendon Gibbens.
OK, maybe Conan O’Brien could use a little help on the hookup from time to time, given that Nike-worthy swoosh of red hair atop his 6’5″ frame, but really, does any member of the Franco clan, especially young Dave Franco, need to worry about whipping out the Tinder mobile app to connect with comely cyber-denizens interested in more-than-virtual meetings? They have a lot of fun filling out their fake profiles as “Chip Whitley” and “Jengis Roundstone,” but remember folks, don’t try this at home. It could be a Tinder trap. Check out the video here:
Matt Reeves‘ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood dominated box office headlines over the weekend. Now the $103M simian blockbuster and the 12-year-spanning indie drama meet again in video essayist Nelson Carvajal’s viral mashup Apehood, the tender story of a baby chimp named Caesar who grows into a horse-riding savior of apekind before our very eyes:
UPDATE: Sherri Shepherd Says The Bible Showed Her It Was Time To Exit ‘The View’, Thanks Producers, Cast — And Name-Drops Oprah (Video)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “Seven in the Bible is the number of God’s completion. And I’ve been here seven years and my time at The View is complete,” Sherri Shepherd said modestly at the top of The View broadcast this morning — the show’s first original episode since Shepherd announced she was leaving, and Jenny McCarthy said “Me too!” — or words to that effect. She continued to hang on to Shepherd’s storyline this morning — literally — at one point clutching Shepherd’s hands and appearing to think Shepherd was referring to her as her mentor, putting Shepherd in the awkward position of having to clarify that she was addressing co-host Whoopi Goldberg.
“I’ve been blessed to interview Barack Obama; Bill Clinton is a a big fan of mine –h e loved that I played a hooker in One for the Money,” Shepherd tearily told viewers. Possibly hinting at where she’s landing next, Shepherd continued, “I get the chance to call Oprah Winfrey a friend, and that’s a long way from being a legal secretary who wanted to tell jokes.”
The Giant Neon Pink Gorilla — the show’s sole surviving co-host Goldberg called it, was addressed at the beginning of the show. McCarthy jumped in with word that the reports of the two exits was rumor only and not true. Roars from the studio audience. “Actually, it’s true – but I love the support!” McCarthy simpered, then added, “After much consideration, …
Ned Benson‘s directorial debut The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby received a 10-minute standing ovation at its Cannes premiere in May. The version that played was Them, the film that Benson cut to tell a straight narrative story after two versions, Him and Her, debuted in Toronto last fall. James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain play a married couple whose relationship disintegrates when tragedy intervenes. The Weinstein Co is releasing the combined version Stateside on September 26. Six weeks later, it will put out the two earlier takes. All told, there is expected to be a big awards-season push by TWC, and in particular for the performances of Chastain and McAvoy. Viola Davis, Bill Hader and William Hurt also star. Here’s the trailer:
Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia tells subscribers in a note this morning that he has decided to “pause” the service beginning at 11:30 AM ET — even though “our journey is far from done.” The Barry Diller-backed company plans to consult with the U.S. District Court in New York hearing broadcasters’ complaint against it to “map out our next steps” after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that the service violates station owners” copyrights when it streams their over-the-air programming without permission. Users will receive a refund for their last paid month.
The CEO maintains that the airwaves belong to the public and “you should have a right to access that live programming whether your antenna sits on the roof of your home, on top of your television or in the cloud.” Following a “staggering” show of support, he urges supporters to “Keep your voices loud and sign up for updates at ProtectMyAntenna.org .”
Here’s the note:
A Letter to Our Consumers: Standing Together for Innovation, Progress and Technology – An Update on Aereo
“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” –Charles Kettering, inventor, entrepreneur, innovator & philanthropist
A little over three years ago, our team embarked on a journey to improve the consumer television experience, using technology to create a smart, cloud-based television antenna consumers could use to access live over the air broadcast television.
On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision
Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix has added a new credit to his résumé: Associate Producer. He’s come aboard youth leadership project CAMP: The Documentary, which will track a diverse group of 20 teens from across the country who gather in Big Bear, CA, to participate in a transformative weeklong art and leadership project called Camp M.O.R.E. Phoenix, the Be More Heroic org, and The River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding are currently stumping for an Indiegogo campaign to raise a $40K budget with aims to begin filming with DP Bobby Bukowski (Arlington Road, Saved!) in mid-July. Here’s Phoenix’s video appeal in support of the project, which has seven days of crowdfunding to go:
EXCLUSIVE: Don Cheadle‘s Miles Davis biopic is moving along with Emayatzy Corinealdi. The Middle of Nowhere star is in negotiations for the female lead in Miles Ahead following Star Trek actress Zoe Saldana‘s exit due to a scheduling conflict. She’ll play Davis’ wife Frances Taylor opposite Cheadle as the iconic jazzman and Ewan McGregor as Dave Brill, with Boardwalk Empire‘s Michael Stuhlbarg also in talks to join the cast. The script, by Steve Baigelman and Cheadle, tracks a few dangerous days in Davis’ life as he emerged from a silent period to conspire with a Rolling Stone writer to steal back his music. Earlier this month Cheadle turned to crowdfunder Indiegogo to raise $325K to fund the indie production. It has reached nearly half of its goal with a little more than two weeks left to go.
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, June 5, 2014—Universal Pictures today announced that the studio has signed a two-year first-look production agreement with Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire banner. The announcement was made by Co-Presidents of Production Peter Cramer and Jeffrey Kirschenbaum.
Schwartz and Savage are currently writing and will produce the studio’s live-action feature Monster High, based on the hugely successful Mattel franchise of the same name, with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Most recently for Universal, they produced Endless Love, alongside Scott Stuber and Pamela Abdy. On the television side, Fake Empire is behind such hits as CW’s Gossip Girl (2007-2013), NBC’s Chuck (2007-2012) and Fox’s The O.C. (2003-2007). They are currently in production on The Astronaut Wives Club, which ABC picked up for a 10-episode straight-to-series order earlier this year and CW’s Hart of Dixie, which was recently renewed for a fourth season.
MSNBC has canceled Disrupt With Karen Finney, just shy of its first anniversary. Finney, a political commentator at the network since 2009 who previously served as deputy press secretary to Hillary Clinton during the Clinton presidency, will remain at the network as a contributor. Lousy ratings did in the 4 PM weekend show, which regularly ranked No. 4 in its time slot among cable networks. The cancellation was first reported by TV Newser, citing the network.
EXCLUSIVE: Nia Vardalos and Disney Channel alum Jason Dolley star in Helicopter Mom, the indie comedy that just completed this trailer before the pic world premieres tonight at the Seattle International Film Festival. It also just finalized a spot in the 2014 Outfest lineup unveiled today in the U.S. Dramatic Features category; that fest runs July 10-20 in LA. Helicopter Mom, directed by Salome Breziner from Duke Tran’s script, centers on a way overzealous mom who thinks her high school son might be gay and supports him by setting up dates with boys, and submitting an application for a gay student college scholarship. The only thing he’s sure about though is his mom is going way overboard. Sons Of Anarchy‘s Mark Boone Junior and Skyler Samuels co-star. Check it out:
Add Don Cheadle to the ranks of filmmakers turning to crowdfunding to empower passion projects. Cheadle has aligned with Indiegogo to raise $325,000 in funds by July 6 to enable him to make Miles Ahead, a movie about jazz legend Miles Davis. As he has intended to do for years, Cheadle will star, produce and make his directing debut, and he’s got Ewan McGregor ready to star with him. The story they’ll tell is about a few dangerous days in the life of Davis, as he emerged from a silent period to conspire with a Rolling Stone writer to steal back his music. The intention is to shoot this summer.
Now, the knee-jerk temptation will be to sound a sour note about a famous star of screen (Iron Man 3) and TV (House Of Lies) for going the crowdfunding route, as was done when Spike Lee and especially Zach Braff did it. I don’t expect much blowback here. It’s not a lot of money he’s chasing, and Cheadle says that he in fact has put a lot of his own money at stake on a project he’s been trying to get made for years (I first wrote about it back in 2007). He’s also got the jazz man’s estate behind him. And frankly, there should be a movie made about Miles Davis, one of the pioneers of an inherently American art form. It would be hard to find someone more passionate about that than Cheadle.