Next to the all-star fireworks Warner Bros unleashed at CinemaCon last month with Adam Sandler, Johnny Depp and Clint Eastwood, the studio kicked off WonderCon’s Saturday movie schedule on a sleepy note with a low wattage of stars. Comparisons to Disney’s previous D23s are inevitable, especially due to the fact that the Mouse House has trotted out such megastars at this same venue — the Anaheim Convention Center Arena — in its previous confabs, i.e. Angelina Jolie, Natalie Portman, and Robert Downey Jr. First up for Warner Bros today was a fresh Edge of Tomorrow trailer, spotlighting co-star Bill Paxton as a Kentucky sergeant. Paxton later took the stage, but Edge of Tomorrow star Tom Cruise didn’t show; the crowd didn’t seem to mind, though, rolling their cheers in appreciation for the Aliens thespian, but still — Cruise isn’t here. Nor was Godzilla castmember Bryan Cranston, a fave for his panel appearances for Breaking Bad at ComicCon.
Related: WonderCon: 20th Century Fox Executes Bryan Singer PR Control During ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Panel
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“To win a war, you have to start one.” This HBO telefilm arrives nearly three decades after Larry Kramer’s play premiered off-Broadway. Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts star in the adaptation directed by Ryan Murphy and scripted by Kramer. Set in NYC during the onset of the HIV/AIDS crisis of the early ’80s, The Normal Heart follows gay activists and their allies in the medical community as they try to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic. HBO already is looking into a sequel. The telepic, which co-stars Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Denis O’Hare, Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock and BD Wong, bows May 25 on the premium channel. Here’s the first full trailer:
Here’s the official trailer for Michael C. Hall‘s first post-Dexter project. He plays Richard, a small-town guy who’s hailed as a hero after he offs a burglar. But then the crook’s ex-con dad (Sam Shepard) shows up with vengeance on his mind and Richard’s family in his sights. But do the cops know more that they’re saying? Cold In July also stars Don Johnson as a private eye. Director Jim Mickle’s pic premiered at Sundance, where it was acquired by IFC Films. Scripted by Nick Damici and based on Joe R. Lansdale’s book, the film hits theaters and VOD on May 23. Take a look:
John Benjamin Hickey, Daniel Stern, Olivia Williams, Ashley Zukerman and Rachel Brosnahan star in WGN America‘s 13-episode scripted series Manhattan, slated to premiere in July. Set during the clandestine mission to build the world’s first atomic bomb in Los Alamos, NM, Manhattan follows the brilliant but flawed scientists and their families. Here’s a sneak-peek at the teaser trailer that will air during Salem‘s season premiere on Sunday. Manhattan is from writer Sam Shaw and director Thomas Schlamme, Skydance TV, Tribune Studios and Lionsgate TV.
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel gamely interviewed Shonda Rhimes — “the woman whose brain gave birth” to ABC’s primetime soap Scandal – in a full episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight, while viewers attempted to recover from the dizzying Scandal season finale. Chatting with Rhimes on the show set, Kimmel noted the season wrapper was really about three finales’ worth of action. “I always want to make the show something you can’t do other stuff while it’s on…You can’t fold laundry, you can’t yell at your husband,” Rhimes explained. Kimmel said that was noble of her. And so, the night wore on, Shonda calmly declining to cough up any dirt about future plans for the show, Kimmel trying to liven things up by noting the conference table at which they were seated was the one on which two of the show’s characters had sex in the finale and hoping someone had cleaned it before this interview.
Related: Kimmel Hits Season High & Tops Late Night With ‘Scandal’ Finale Show
“You know I can’t tell you whether or not he’s dead,” Rhimes said when asked about the fate of Columbus Short’s character, who was last seen at B613 with a gun to his head. Short made his own headlines this week when his wife accused him of threatening to kill her and himself with a knife. There had been speculation that he may be gone from Scandal.
Rhimes did tell a story about the time she could not make up her mind whether Scott Foley’s Jake Ballard should become POTUS’ new running mate — or head of a covert CIA operation — deciding to shoot it both ways and look at the footage to see which storyline “feels stupid’ and which “feels good.” Extra points if you went with “Veep” for Feels Stupid. Assisting Kimmel greatly in the Liven Things Up category were the actors of Scandal, who performed most of the parts in Kimmel’s Spanish-language spinoff Escandalo, which created the strong impression the ensemble cast of this drama was born to make single-camera comedy.
Video after the jump.
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MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: This story contains many details of Thursday’s season finale episode of ABC’s Scandal.
ABC’s D.C. drama, created by Shonda Rhimes, has grabbed big ratings over three seasons with a potent mix of wild plot twists and savvy use of social media. In another signature Shonda shocker, Washington fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tonight watched POTUS Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) become a virtual certainty to lose his re-election bid when a bomb intended for him goes off at the funeral of a U.S. senator who’d been assassinated by Olivia’s terrorist mom Maya Lewis (Khandi Alexander) in order to get Grant at the funeral, only POTUS isn’t there. But his chief presidential-race rival — and VPOTUS – Sally Langston (Kate Burton) was there, and survived, and becomes simultaneous ministering angel and Irony Lady at the scene of the blast. President Grant’s day gets considerably worse when he suggests to Olivia that they run away together, marry, move to Vermont and have babies, causing Olivia to have pangs of conscience and spill the beans that Grant’s dad had raped his wife, First Lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young), years ago. Read More »
Here’s the first trailer for Clint Eastwood‘s adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway smash about legendary early-rock group the Four Seasons. Warner Bros’ Jersey Boys has taken a serpentine road to the big screen. It originally was at Sony before Graham King signed a multi-year deal with Warners in September 2012 and moved the project over with him. John Lloyd Young — who won a Tony for his role as Frankie Valli — Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza star as the boys in the band, with Christopher Walken playing a notorious mobster. Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice wrote the screenplay and musical book, with song music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe. The GK Films pic opens June 20. Have a look — and especially a listen:
Blumhouse and Entertainment One have inked Ciaran Foy to helm Sinister 2, the sequel to the micro-budget horror movie. Production starts in July on the follow to the Lionsgate/Summit pic, which starred Ethan Hawke and grossed more than $77M worldwide on a budget of $3M. Foy’s first writer-director effort, Citadel, won the Midnighter Audience Award at SXSW in 2012. That pic (check out the trailer for it below) carries some of the same DNA as the original Sinister, which starred Hawke as a true crime novelist who discovers a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies that plunge his family into a supernatural nightmare. Scott Derrickson, who directed the original and co-wrote the script with C. Robert Cargill, announced Foy got the gig today on his Twitter feed:
Derrickson and Cargill are back as co-writers for the sequel. eOne is financing and Blumhouse International is handling foreign sales via a worldwide distribution and servicing deal with IM Global. Executive producers are Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Charles Layton, and Xavier Marchand and Patrice Théroux for eOne.
Here’s the Citadel trailer:
With Hollywood director Bryan Singer at the center of accusations of molesting a minor 15 years ago, his name will not be used to promote new ABC drama series Black Box. A small portion of the promos in circulation for the series, which premieres next Thursday, featured the X-Men director’s name. They have now been pulled, at least for the time being, according to sources. Former House executive producer Singer serves as an executive producer on the straight-to-series drama starring Kelly Reilly as a famous neuroscientist who is bipolar. Below is the official long trailer for the show, widely available online, in which Singer is indirectly referenced as Black Box being “from the executive producer(s) of House.”
Related: ‘X-Men’s Bryan Singer To Skip This Weekend’s WonderCon
In addition to Black Box, Singer also executive produces the upcoming CBS drama series Battle Creek, from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and House creator David Shore. On that direct-to-series project he also directed the opening episode. Singer just completed work on the pilot, which has been getting good early response. CBS is yet to start airing promos for Battle Creek, which is not slated to launch until fall. On the feature side, Singer has his next movie, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, opening in five weeks.
ABC‘s D.C. fixer drama Scandal has built big ratings in three seasons with a potent mix of often ridiculous plot twists and creator Shonda Rhimes’ savvy use of social media, which has bound fans closely to the show and its stars. That combo has paid off: Ahead of tonight’s season finale, which is certain to feature another signature shocker, Scandal has added 3 million viewers (for 11.5 million total). It’s up even more in the key adults 18-49 demo, +43% compared with last season, according to Nielsen. That demographic also represents most of the heaviest social-media users and is fervently sought by marketers.
Related: ‘Scandal’: Shonda Rhimes Does It Again With Season Finale
Scandal‘s OMG moments, and the chance to feverishly chat about them online as they happen, have glued fans to the show’s actual broadcasts, instead of waiting to watch an episode later on DVR, VOD or Hulu. To further stick fans to their TV-side seats, Rhimes and other show principals including star Kerry Washington also take part, tweeting and posting with fans before, during and after airings. That close connection has been a crucial part of the show’s growth. According to RelishMIX, the social-media analytics firm, followings for those show-connected accounts have exploded — led by Washington’s Facebook account, which jumped an eye-popping 466% in Season 3. That comes after an offseason filled with awards appearances that really fueled the show’s social-media growth. In fact, says RelishMIX CEO Marc Karzen, the biggest growth in Washington’s Facebook account happened in and around her (very pregnant) appearances at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. Those red carpet photos set fans abuzz for days.
Related: ‘Scandal’ Among Peabody Award Winners
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The same day writer-director David Michôd’s anarchic thriller was picked for a Midnight Screening at Cannes, a new trailer has surfaced. Set in the Australian desert a decade after an economic meltdown, The Rover stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson as angry men on a mission to track down a gang of dudes who seriously wronged them. Scoot McNairy, David Field, Anthony Hayes, Gillian Jones and Susan Prior co-star. A24 picked it up last summer and will open the pic June 13 in LA and NYC, followed by a national release a week later. Check it out:
Related: Cannes Lineup Big Canadian Presence & Lots Of Female Helmers
UPDATED: Saturday, 1:26 PM: Gosnell crossed the $1M threshold today on Indiegogo. The telefilm, which took to crowdfunding to raise funds, is about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia physician convicted of three counts of first-degree murder for mercilessly killing babies of botched abortions who were born alive by driving a scissors into their necks and snipping their spinal cords. It is believed that the practice went on for years. The filmmakers have set a goal of $2.1M.
PREVIOUSLY, Thursday, 1:53 PM: Gosnell has just become the most funded movie ever on Indiegogo after bowing less than three weeks ago, surpassing efforts by the likes of James Franco and Shemar Moore. Both Kevin Sorbo, who last starred in God’s Not Dead, and Nick Sercy (Justified) filmed videos in support of Gosnell‘s crowdsourcing campaign. “After Kevin Sorbo and his wife Sam and Nick Sercy (Justified) who released a video two days ago on YouTube we noticed huge spikes after those videos were released,” said producer Phelim McAleer. “I think it really shows that people really respect Hollywood celebrities who reflect their views and tell their stories. They were really crucial to the success so far.” The producers still have a long way to reach their goal of $2.1M. To date, the producers of the anticipated TV movie, McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney have raised $907,460 to date and the total continues to climb. The record for a crowdsourcing campaign continues to be Veronica Mars on Kickstarter, which pulled in $5.7M after hoping to raise $2M for the film. In comparison, Franco collected $327,929 for Palo Alto Stories on a goal of $500,000 falling short and Moore raised $638,983 on a goal of $500,000 for the romantic comedy The Bounce Back. Read More »
MPI Media Group’s Dark Sky Films banner is setting a fall 2014 theatrical release for LFO, a sci-fi comic thriller from Swedish helmer Antonio Tublen. MPI acquired all U.S. and international sales on the pic about a man (Patrik Karlson) who discovers he can hypnotize people with sound and starts experimenting on his neighbors (Izabella Jo Tschig, Per Löfberg) with his newfound analog power. Tublen wrote and directed the film which screened at Austin’s Fantastic Fest, where Elijah Wood and his SpectreVision partners caught it. They programmed it at their own L.A. festival and have come aboard to present LFO with Wood, Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller serving as exec producers. “One of the reasons we started this company was to get behind great new genre films that deserve to be discovered by broader audiences. This is a subversive, funny and deeply unnerving low-techno thriller we’re proud to present,” said Wood. MPI’s Nicola Goelzhaeuser negotiated the deal with Alexander Brøndsted, producer and president of PingPongFilm. MPI will also be presenting LFO in Cannes. Here’s the trailer with English subtitles:
EXCLUSIVE: Ed Perkins’ documentary Garnet’s Gold has some serious pedigree — it’s from producer Simon Chinn, who won Best Documentary Feature Oscars for James Marsh’s Man On Wire in 2009 and for Searching For Sugar Man in 2013. Both of those riviting docus scored because of their laser focus on what made their subjects tick. That is the plan here with Garnet’s Gold, which has its world premiere tomorrow at the Tribeca Film Festival. The pic tells the story of Garnet Frost, who, 20 years ago, nearly died hiking by Scotland’s Loch Arkaig, surviving by sheer chance. His brush with death has lingered with him for years, particularly the wooden staff he discovered right before he was rescued. After much research, Garnet is convinced the staff is actually a marker for a fortune hidden nearly 300 years ago, and he returns to the wilderness in search of it. Of course he ends up searching for much more than just gold. Check out the trailer here:
Netflix has released its second season trailer for Jenji Kohan’s prison dramedy Orange Is The New Black. Featured are returning stars Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, Laura Prepon and Kate Mulgrew, along with new addition Lorraine Toussaint. Season 2 premieres June 6, with all 13 episodes available at once.
Chelsea Handler is no longer a part of the CBS late-night conversation, the comic having finished her deft manipulation of the media by announcing, “I would never go to CBS.” ”My mouth? What would they do with me there?” she told Ellen DeGeneres on Ellen’s talk show Wednesday, stating the obvious. “I would never be on a regular network. I would never do that to my fans, myself, or the network,” she added. Handler insisted the Instagram photo that she posted this week of her large-ish dog sitting on her lap, in which she’s seen holding papers upside down so that CBS logo could clearly be seen by viewers, was a giant misunderstanding, explaining she doesn’t look at photos before posting them. She’s talking to CBS about something entirely different, she said.
DeGeneres noted the one solid fact in the Handler late-night saga is that she has said she is ending her Chelsea Lately on E!. “Is that your choice?” Ellen asked. ”Well…..yeah,” Handler said, adding that she thinks it’s time to move on because she wants a vacation and some sleep.
Ellen asked Handler about the Comedy Central opening that will be created when Stephen Colbert leaves to replace David Letterman on CBS. “What is Comedy Central?” Handler snarked, adding, “I don’t want to take a job that somebody else has already done.”
Heaven Is For Real is headed towards at least $3.7mil on its opening day today for TriStar Pictures with estimates looking like $20M for the 5-day, according to Sony. The best news is that the film, based on the best-selling Christian book, got an A+ CinemaScore for those 35 and under and an A overall. The film is the latest in the faith-based genre to bow this year, following Son Of God and God’s Not Dead, however this one is right in time for Easter weekend. Son Of God from Fox debuted at the end of February with $25.6M its opening weekend, while God’s Not Dead garnered $9.2M and a very strong per screen average of almost $12,000 per screen when it opened on March 21. Heaven Is For Real has 2,417 runs.
Directed by Randall Wallace and starring fan fav Greg Kinnear, the film is about a four-year-old boy who has a near-death experience and reveals to his parents that he visited Heaven. The film centers on his father’s decision to tell the world. The true-life story is about the Burpo family: Colton and his parents, Sonja and Todd (a pastor) who are from a small town in Nebraska. Colton almost died when he was in the hospital during emergency surgery. After he recovered, he began talking about the experience he had … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Now might be the perfect time for more faith-based features to get in on the box office hunger that’s propelled Christian-themed fare like Fox’s Son Of God and Freestyle Releasing’s God’s Not Dead into the Top 10. True-tale biopic Noble is one such film aiming to join the fray as it makes festival rounds and screens for buyers this month in LA and NY before heading to Cannes. Deirdre O’Kane (Moon Boy) stars as Christina Noble, a humanitarian and author who channeled her deprived and destitute childhood growing up on the streets of Dublin, Ireland into a lifelong mission to help children in need in Vietnam and Mongolia. Noble founded the Christina Noble Childrens Foundation in 1989 and wrote two books about her life’s work. Stephen Bradley wrote and directed the film, based on Noble’s life, which also stars Downton Abbey‘s Brendan Coyle, Game of Thrones‘ Liam Cunningham, and Sarah Greene. Melanie Gore-Grimes produced the UK/Irish pic, which was filmed in Vietnam, Liverpool, and Cumbria. Michael J. Hunt exec produced for his Ansty Productions. Noble won the Panavision Grand Prize at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Dallas International Film Festival, and next stops by the Nashville Film Festival and Newport Beach Film Fest. Continental Media is repping sales. Check out the trailer exclusively on Deadline: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: R&B singer John Legend and Step Up: All In scribe John Swetnam are teaming on coming-of-age dance drama Breaking Through, which has locked independent financing and is gearing up for a summer shoot. It’ll be the first feature of its kind to combine two subgenres — dance movies and found footage — in a plot described as a “documentary-style dance drama for the YouTube generation.” Casting starts soon on the pic, which is looking to discover new dance talent a la the Step Up films. Read More »