While fans were allowed to ask questions to the string of talent from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Maze Runner and DreamWorks’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 at 20th Century Fox’s WonderCon panel, the one creative talent not fielding questions from the crowd, was X-Men: Days Of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg. While a ‘no questions’ policy wasn’t blatantly announced at the panel, Fox gracefully saved its X-Men presentation for the final portion of its nearly two-hour panel. And it was brief next to the whole half hour-plus devoted to Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Kinberg stepped in at the last minute after the studio pulled Bryan Singer in the wake of the director being slammed with a sexual abuse civil lawsuit. Kinberg promised the crowd that he had footage that was never seen before, however, that wasn’t the case: He showed the same clip that was on the MTV Movie Awards last weekend with the young X-Men including Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Iceman fighting a rather large latex figure who absorbs their powers. Fox, unlike ABC who pulled Singer’s name off their Black Box TV spots, kept Singer’s name on the trailer that was shown at WonderCon today. The crowd was unfazed when his name came up on screen.
EXCLUSIVE: In the wake of shocking allegations of sexual abuse against Bryan Singer that surfaced five weeks before the launch of the new X-Men film, Singer has cancelled a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s WonderCon in Anaheim, Deadline hears. Fox instead will send Simon Kinberg as the studio prepares to launch the Singer-directed blockbuster X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Kinberg wrote and produced the film and has been a part of the X-Men universe since the beginning.
Singer had been scheduled to be on hand to do interviews for the film that Fox opens May 23. It seems fairly obvious that right now he’s not going to get the kind of questions that will help the movie, or that he could answer. Singer had been scheduled to represent X-Men among a bunch of big Fox movies vamping this weekend, appearing along with Andy Serkis, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman and director Matt Reeves from Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes; Jay Baruchel and writer-director Dean DeBlois from How To Train Your Dragon 2; and Dylan O’Brien, writer James Dashner and director Wes Ball from The Maze Runner.
Berlin Briefs: Nicolas Cage In Talks For ‘Men With No Fear’; Tom Berenger Stars In Western ‘Lonesome Dove Church’
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Writer-director Paco Cabezas’ heist thriller Men With No Fear is coming to Berlin’s European Film Market this month, with Nicolas Cage in negotiations to star and The Exchange setting a deal to finance and sell worldwide rights. Bryan Singer and Jason Taylor of Bad Hat Harry Productions are producing. The movie centers on Marty ‘The Mule,’ newly released from prison after being set up by his former boss Frank, a smalltime neighborhood crook. While Mule was locked up, Frank went big time and became a ruthless drug kingpin. But Frank also took Mule’s most precious item — his son, raising him like his own. But now Mule is back on the streets and ready for revenge.
Over 20 years after his debut feature Public Access was the co-winner of the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, Bryan Singer is returning to the Sundance Film Festival. The X-Men: Days Of Future Past director was named today as one of this year’s jurists at the Utah-based festival. Singer will serve on the U.S. Dramatic Jury along with critic Leonard Maltin, producer Peter Saraf, writer-director Lone Scherfig and Slate.com critic Dana Stevens. Jurists in the U.S and World Cinema Documentary sections as well World Cinema Dramatic, Short Film, and Science In Film categories were announced too (see the full list below). Additionally, the fest revealed today that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally will front the Feature Film Awards ceremony on January 25 in Park City. This isn’t the only appearance by Offerman and Mullally at Sundance this year. The Parks & Recreation star tops Nick Offerman: American Ham which premieres January 23 in Salt Lake City, and Mullally is one of the voices in the animated pic Ernest & Celestine, which is being screened January 18. The fest’s 30th anniversary edition runs January 16-26. Here’s the full release:
Sundance Premieres & Documentary Premieres 2014 Lineup
Sundance Reveals U.S. & World Cinema Competition Slates
Sundance Unveils Spotlight, Midnight, Frontier Films & New Kids Slate
Sundance Reveals Short Film Lineup
Park City, UT — Sundance Institute announced today the members of the six juries awarding prizes at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Short Film Awards will be announced at a ceremony on January 21 at Park City’s Jupiter Bowl. Feature film awards will be announced at a separate ceremony on January 25 in Park City, hosted by husband-and-wife duo Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally and livestreamed at www.sundance.org/live. Offerman headlines the film Nick Offerman: American Ham in the Festival’s Premieres section. Mullally voices a character in the English-language version of Ernest and Celestine, which will have its world premiere in the Festival’s new Sundance Kids section.
The USC School Of Cinematic Arts keeps making a big push to gain more support among current Hollywood moguls and filmmakers who aren’t has-beens. Smart business: the names will translate into more money and clout for the school and its BA, MA, MFA and PhD programs. USC has to compete just even locally with American Film Institute’s AFI Conservatory and UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television not to mention other rival schools nationally like New York University Tisch School of the Arts and internationally like Beijing Film Academy. So no surprise that Twentieth Century Fox Film Chairman Jim Gianopulos this week joined the USC film school’s Board Of Councilors. Last week, Bryan Singer donated $5 million and became the first alumnus to have one of the film school’s 6 programs of study named in his honor. Also last week, Paramount’s Brad Grey and CBS Inc’s Les Moonves joined George Lucas (alumnus) and Steven Spielberg (who applied twice and was turned down each time) at the gala reception opening of the Sumner M. Redstone Production Building for the school.
Gianopulos also joins Lucas and Spielberg – who’ve each donated buildings – on the USC film school board which takes a leadership roll in the school’s overall planning and development as well as supports its fundraising efforts. Board of Councilors Chair Frank Price, who used to preside over Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures (twice), said in a statement: “Throughout his career Jim has always been dedicated to finding and supporting the next visionary filmmaker or technology and that fits right in with our goal as a Board. By working in support of the students at SCA we are ensuring that our industry has a bright future.” Gianopulos for his part explained: “I have long admired the commitment to being at the forefront of the cinematic arts that [Dean] Elizabeth Daley and USC have exemplified over the years.”
USC was funded in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1929 and offers comprehensive programs in directing, producing, writing, critical studies, animation and digital arts, production, and interactive media. On Tuesday night, Hollywood bigwigs turned out for the Redstone building dedication which follows the Viacom Chairman’s donation of $10 million to the USC School Of Cinematic Arts kast January. The state-of-the-art production facility houses two soundstages, dubbed Redstone 1 and Redstone 2. Part of SCA’s new Cinematic Arts Complex, it features 2,600 square feet of production space for use by the about 1,000 students from the school’s various divisions who are studying production skills such as staging, lighting, directing, producing and forming/leading a crew. The building also is equipped with industry standard Strand dimming systems and Mole-Richardson lighting; floor lights, grip and electrical hardware; a Production Equipment Center; wooden stage floors; and soundproofing and soundproof utility doors, among many others features. “I’ve always said that content is king. It’s the lord of the realm. It’s the highest value in this industry,” Redstone told the crowd. “I’m hoping that adding my name to the Redstone building will further the art of storytelling and that, within its walls, the Spielbergs and Lucases of tomorrow will continue to make magic.”
While deep-pocketed folks like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas get buildings named after them for big donations, director Bryan Singer has made history by becoming the first alumnus of USC‘s School Of Cinematic Arts to have one of the school’s six programs of study named in his honor. USC’s Dean Elizabeth M. Daley said today that SCA’s Division of Critical Studies has now been named the Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies in honor of the filmmaker’s $5 million gift. The X-Men and Superman Returns director, who is prepping Fox’s X-Men: Days Of Future Past for a summer 2014 debut, graduated from the Critical Studies division in 1989; his Jack The Giant Slayer for Warner Bros opens March 1. “In a way, I began my career in the Division of Critical Studies at USC”, he said. “Watching great films and learning how to think about film from the faculty transformed me as an artist and as a person. I am honored to give back to the division and the school, which gave me so much.”
Bryan Singer Tweeted today that Anna Paquin, Ellen Page and Shawn Ashmore have rejoined the team for X-Men: Days of Future Past. Last month Singer, who directed the first two chapters of the Fox franchise, also announced via Twitter …