Mr Grey will see you now. The hotly-anticipated trailer for Universal and Focus Features’ Fifty Shades Of Grey has finally penetrated the web. Set to a remix of Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love,” the promo brings a look at leads Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian (“I don’t do romance”) Grey and Anastasia (“Enlighten me”) Steele. Sam Taylor-Johnson directs the adaptation of the mega-bestselling book. The global rollout starts February 11, 2015.
While a dispute with Transformers: Age Of Extinction sponsor Pangu Investments was swiftly resolved around the time of the film’s release, the folks at the Wulong Karst National Park are not relenting. Earlier this month, the tourism group said it was going ahead with legal action against the producers of the highest-grossing film of all time in China. Unhappy with its portrayal in the film, the UNESCO World Heritage site has now filed a lawsuit at Chongqing No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court, accusing Paramount Pictures and Beijing-based 1905 Internet Technology, of violating their contract. The State-owned Xinhua new agency reports the court has accepted the suit. Wulong says its name was due to be featured on screen announcing the locale, but is not in the finished film. There also is concern that because the scenes immediately following take place in Hong Kong, it mistakenly gives the impression the two are nearby. Wulong is understood to be seeking 4M yuan in losses for the days the park was closed for filming, compensation of expected profit losses of 12M yuan and the return of 4.8M yuan of a contract payment. This despite reports that there’s been a hike in visitors since the movie came out. Paramount has not previously commented on the Wulong issue, but the head of 1905′s M1095 earlier told local press that Wulong delayed payment to Paramount for five months which resulted in a squeeze on production time and a misunderstanding … Read More »
I’m here at Rome’s St Regis Hotel where Biennale president Paolo Baratta and Venice chief Alberto Barbera are announcing the lineup for the 71st edition of the world’s oldest international film festival. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman world premieres in competition as the opener on August 27 and we’ll see 55 movies across the Official Selection through September 6. Yesterday, I wrote a primer for today’s reveal with such films as David Gordon Green‘s Manglehorn and Peter Bogdanovich‘s Squirrels To The Nuts expected to be announced today; and they have been.
Twenty films will compete in the main competition, 19 of which are world premieres with one international premiere. There are an abundance of titles from Italy, France, the U.S. and the UK. Among the U.S. titles in competition are Manglehorn with Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine and Chris Messina, and Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill with Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. Both of those will move on to Toronto next. Inarritu’s opener Birdman is in competition with a starry cast that includes Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. The closing night movie, as previously announced is Ann Hui’s The Golden Era. Among the other expected players that are turning up in competition are Fatih Akin with The Cut starring Tahar Rahim (Carlos); Xavier Beauvois’ La Rançon … Read More »
Bang Bang, Fox’s anticipated Indian remake of Knight And Day, has dropped a teaser in what is shaping up to be a hot week for Bollywood. The film stars Hrithik Roshan, who underwent brain surgery last year to remove a blood clot, causing a delay in production and moving the release date from May to October 2 this year — the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. It’s also the start of the four-day Dussehra Hindu festival weekend holiday. Siddharth Anand directs Bang Bang, which also stars Katrina Kaif. Roshan, who’s a bona fide star at home with a growing international profile (his wax likeness stands at Madame Tussaud’s in the UK), most recently starred in superhero pic Krrish 3. That film broke records in India in 2013. A special screening of the Bang Bang teaser was hosted in India this week and set social media abuzz. Here’s a look:
Will Ferrell is set for a tribute at the 40th annual Deauville American Film Festival in September. The Saturday Night Live veteran’s recent credits include The Lego Movie, Anchorman 2 and the upcoming Get Hard, and his Gary Sanchez Productions this week announced a film adaptation on the 1980s TV series Manimal. “The Deauville American Film Festival is, as its name suggests, the festival of all kinds of cinema, of every genre, and therefore considers nothing as off-limits,” fest director Bruno Barde … Read More »
Some in Hollywood may have been surprised by Microsoft’s announcement that Xbox Entertainment Studios, its much-touted experiment in new kinds of interactive TV programming and headed by former CBS President Nancy Tellem, would be shut down. But really, didn’t we see this coming? Here are five reasons why the announcement was, ultimately, long in coming but not long in shock value, at least to veteran watchers of the uneasy, evolving boundary between Hollywood and Silicon Valley:
Shuffle the Deck. Of course, the greatest “sin” committed by Tellem and her crew is being an organizational outlier when the new guy took over. XES was launched two years ago under longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who ran the company for 14 years before retiring in February.
The new CEO, cloud-computing specialist Satya Nadella, had no particular organizational connection with Xbox before taking over. And indeed, in announcing 18,000 layoffs last week (which particularly hit Microsoft’s recently acquired Nokia mobile divisions), Nadella signaled his company focus would be in the cloud, and on mobile. And without buy-in from the company’s new chief, XES was vulnerable — a common situation in Hollywood, where entertainment properties are routinely marooned when their institutional champions depart. Read More »
Once again it’s the networks that have poured big money into blanketing downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter in promo materials, with a few exceptions. Here’s what’s greeting Comic-Congoers on the ground as Wednesday’s Preview Night kicks into gear ahead of the Thursday-to-Sunday rush (check back for more glimpses from geek ground zero throughout the week):
Related: Comic-Con 2013: TV Outrunning Film As Race To Blanket San Diego Hits High Gear (PHOTOS)
NBC’s Constantine (above) has a blazing standee of star Matt Ryan on display to get audiences used to seeing the Welsh thesp as DC Comics antihero John Constantine. Show debuts October 24. Elsewhere around Comic-Con’s downtown HQ, a massive banner for TNT’s August-premiering series Legends, starring Sean Bean and Ali Larter, has taken another chunk of prime eyeball real estate. Read More »
As Hollywood and fans began to train their focus on Comic-Con tonight, Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder fired off a head-scratcher of a tweet — apparently from a galaxy far, far away. He sent out this shot of his Man of Steel Henry Cavill with #SuperJedi. OK, two questions: 1) Why so serious, Hank? 2) Captions, anyone?
Last year at Comic-Con, Legendary confirmed Duncan Jones as director of its videogame adaptation. During Preview Night at this year’s confab, it unveiled the title card for Warcraft, which Universal has slated for March 2016. The Warcraft reveal was part of an invite-only event tonight where Crimson Tide director Guillermo del Toro walked participants through a Gothic Gallery based on one of the sets from the upcoming pic. Needless to say, it was a bit of time and space bender that made a very small space seem very long and dark. Also there was an Oculus VR Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot virtual reality experience that del Toro worked on with Industrial Light and Magic that simulated what it would be like to be one of the pilots of a 250-story monster fighting robot. The Legendary booth opens for the general public tomorrow.
Related: Legendary Locks Ben Foster To Round ‘Warcraft’ Cast
UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”
Related: Obama Names ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Kennedy Center Board
Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.
Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jenny Mollen (Angel, Crazy. Stupid. Love., Wilfred, Girls) has inked an option sale on her recently released memoir I Like You Just The Way In Am, which Sony TV nabbed in a competitive situation. Mollen will adapt and star in the series, based on her tome about life as an actress and best-selling author (not to mention Twitter celeb and wife of Jason Biggs). She’ll also executive produce alongside Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings, Franklin & Bash, Marry Me) and Karen Kehela Sherwood (A Beautiful Mind, Tower Heist, The Good Lie). Mollen is repped by Gersh, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Stone Meyer.
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). After a run in VOD and other digital platforms, 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.
Here’s the trailer: THE TOY SOLDIERS OFFICIAL THEATRICAL TRAILER
from Mance Media
EXCLUSIVE: Former UTA and ICM talent agent Steven Fisher has joined management and production company Underground as a manager. Fisher exited UTA last month after working out of the agency’s NYC office for three years. Before that he was at ICM for seven years. Fisher’s making the move cross-country with his family to L.A., where he’ll work with Underground’s Trevor Engelson, Evan Silverberg, Chris Dennis, and Josh Turner McGuire while Noah Rothman works out of Underground’s NYC offices. “I wanted to get back to L.A. and roll up my sleeves, and most of my clients are writer-performers in L.A.,” said Fisher. He joins Underground with clients Desi Lydic (MTV’s Awkward), Jamey Sheridan (Homeland), John Phillips (Pittsburgh Heat, Dirty Grandpa), Liz Carey (Chelsea Lately, Walk Of Shame), Mike Zegen (Frances Ha, Boardwalk Empire, Girls), Miles Fisher (Bad Advice, J. Edgar, Final Destination 5), Rus Blackwell (Banshee), and Jessie Ennis (G.B.F., Shards). Read More »
“I believe that good things come to those who work their asses off,” Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Lou Bloom says in Nightcrawler. He’s the wide-eyed new kid on the scene of LA’s underground world of freelance crime tele-journalism, and he’ll do anything to get the shot and the story. To wit: Police are harassed and their cars chased and T-boned, amid other general mayhem. Rene Russo and Bill Paxton co-star in the directorial debut of The Bourne Legacy scribe Dan Gilroy, who also wrote the pic. Open Road acquired the thriller for about $4.5 million after a bidding war at Cannes, and it will hit theaters October 17 following its world premiere at Toronto. Check out the first trailer:
During a PBS Q&A session for its Nova program, Vaccines: Calling The Shots, the conversation eventually wound its way around to Jenny McCarthy. Which is to say a TV critic asked the panelists to weigh in on McCarthy, who has become the celebrity most closely associated with the vaccine debate. (McCarthy has said in interviews she is not “anti-vaccine” — she’s demanding “safe vaccines” and to “reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins.” In a 2009 interview with Time, she was quoted as saying, “If you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f**king measles.”)
“I made a decision that we didn’t want to go down the path that wasn’t scientifically solid,” the program’s writer/director/co-exec producer Sonya Pemberton said by way of explaining why the show makes no mention of McCarthy. “As far as I can tell, Jenny McCarthy hasn’t published any scientific papers, and doesn’t have a degree” in the field. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Dexter alum Aimee Garcia and Episodes‘ Mircea Monroe are set as leads opposite Michael Rosenbaum in TV Land’s single-camera dark comedy Impastor. Written by Christopher Vane and directed by Robert Greenberg, the story centers on Buddy (Rosenbaum), a lowlife on the run from his debts who hides away in a small town by conning its residents into thinking he’s their new gay pastor. Garcia plays Buddy’s put-upon girlfriend, LeeAnne, is a bartender in San Francisco who is used to Buddy leading a chaotic, trouble-jammed lifestyle. A little bored with all the constant upheaval in his life, she dismisses his latest tale of danger and drama. But after Buddy disappears, an apparent suicide, LeeAnne has a new set of problems: dealing with her snarky mother, dealing with the cops, dealing with a funeral director, and (most complicated of all) dealing with Buddy’s criminal creditors on top of the guilt of “abandoning” him. Monroe plays Alexa Cummings, the sexy Head Trustee of Loomis Lutheran Church, who’s instantly attracted to the new pastor in town, Buddy. Alexa’s sophistication hides a mysterious past. Garcia, repped by Dave Fleming at Mosaic, Paradigm and Ginsberg Daniels, recently appeared in MGM’s Robocop. Monroe is with Gersh and LINK.
Only 10 days after Better Call Saul creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould revealed that in the Breaking Bad prequel series Bob Odenkirk‘s title character will actually be known as Jimmy McGill, here he is in the flesh. A photo of a billboard along I-25 in Albuquerque advertising the services of a younger-looking Odenkirk as attorney James M. McGill, was snapped by a commuter. I’ve learned the billboard is a prop put up for an episode of the AMC series, which films in the New Mexico town that also housed Breaking Bad. For maximum authenticity and a nod to the local community that had embraced the franchise, the number on the billboard also is real, greeting callers with a recorded message by Odenkirk as McGill. Slated for a 2015 premiere, Better Call Saul, from Sony TV, will track the transformation of McGill, a small-time lawyer hustling to make ends meet, into Saul Goodman.
UPDATED, 3:15PM: As folks head south for Comic-Con, Disney and Marvel have announced yet another mystery movie, this one set to kick off the 2018 summer season. Marvel Untitled — that “title” sound familiar? — will invade a megaplex near you on May 4, 2018. This makes a half-dozen of their TBA superhero flicks set to open 2017 and 2019.
PREVIOUSLY, July 18: Just in time for Comic-Con, Disney has press-dumped a quintet of release dates for untitled Marvel films that fanboys and girls can spend the weekend agonizing over before the Con. They’ll open two films in 2017, on July 28, 2017 and November 3, 2017, followed by two more in 2018 on July 6, 2018 and November 2, 2018. The summer/fall double hitter strategy stops (as far as we know) in 2019, when Marvel will release one new to-be-identified pic on May 3, 2019.
We’ll know next week if Disney/Marvel reveal any of this extended lineup in San Diego, though the studio might as well use it as more ammo to drive fans to its own D23 fan confab. Read More »
On the eve of Comic-Con, where The Big Bang Theory has always been a top draw, the uncertainty surrounding the production of the mega-hit CBS comedy’s eighth season intensifies. With only one week left until the actors on the Warner Bros TV-produced show are scheduled to convene for the first table read of Season 8 on July 30, none of the Big Bang original cast members are close to new deals. The contracts of Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar all expired at the end of last season, and no one would go to work without a contract in place. Modern Family co-creator/co-showrunner Christopher Lloyd was in a similar position recently and sat out the first week of work in the writers room until his reps reached a new deal with producer 20th Century Fox TV. In both cases, talks between the studio and talent started pretty late, leading to the missed deadline.
While the Modern Family writers proceeded without Lloyd, with fellow co-creator/co-showrunner Steve Levitan at the helm, keeping up production on Big Bang with only the two cast members who have contracts — Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik — would be impossible. Read More »
The WGA West has issued its final list of 18 candidates, including five incumbents, who will be competing for eight seats on the its board of directors in the September election. Incumbents Chip Johannessen, Scott Alexander, Michael Oates Palmer, Katherine Fugate and Marjorie David will square off against challengers Shawn Ryan, Chris Derrick, Cynthia Riddle, Peter Lefcourt, Shernold Edwards, Peter Murrieta, Doug Atchison, Stan Chervin, Jonathan Fernandez, Courtney Ellinger, Mark Amato, Aaron Mendelsohn, and Aaron Fullerton. The guild will host its annual Candidates Night forum, where members can grill the candidates, on September 3 at the guild’s LA headquarters. Ballots will be counted September 16.
Related: WGA West Report: Film Writers’ Earnings Down For Fourth Straight Year