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Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘Dirty Wars’, ‘Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie’, ‘Violet & Daisy’, ‘Wish You Were Here’, ‘Hey Bartender’, ‘Hello Herman’, ‘Tiger Eyes’

Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.

It may be blockbuster season, but the Specialties are parading a number of new titles into theaters this weekend. After ruling the box office last year, Joss Whedon‘s modern take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing will open in limited release. Similar to many of this weekend’s new offerings, the title does not have high-named stars. Sundance and Tribeca docs Dirty Wars and Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie join the fray Friday along with Precious writer Geoffrey Fletcher’s Violet & Daisy. Joel Edgerton stars in Australian film, Wish You Were Here, opening Stateside via eOne, while Freestyle Releasing will bow two features, Hello Herman and Tiger Eyes. And SXSW doc competition film Hey Bartender will also straddle up for a shot at the box office.

Much Ado About Nothing
Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: William Shakespeare (play), Joss Whedon (screenplay)
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond
Distributor: Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate

Roadside’s Howard Cohen is returning to a Shakespeare he knows well, having been involved with Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 version two decades ago. The latest, which debuted at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival is a black and white re-telling of the story with a modern edge. “It has a great combination of upscale art house appeal and fun modern, hipster vibe,” noted Cohen. “The actors are Americans doing Shakespeare. Joss breathes a fresh air into Shakespeare. People love Shakespeare, but you have to breathe new air to re-invent 400-year-old plays.” Shot over 12 days at Whedon’s Santa Monica home while taking a short break filming The Avengers, the undertaking was something of a passion project for Whedon who used actors that have participated in Shakespeare readings at his home. “There’s a real purist aspect to it. It’s not like he randomly decided to do a prestige movie. It’s aspirational because it’s Shakespeare, but it’s with actors he works with,” added Cohen. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie’

By | Tuesday June 4, 2013 @ 2:26pm PDT

The late trash TV icon Morton Downey Jr., who paved the way for Jerry Springer, Maury Povitch and the like with his brand of combative talk show spectacle, is the subject of Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie. Directors Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger blend archival footage, animated recreations, and interviews with Herman Cain, Pat Buchanan, Chris Elliott, Gloria Allred, Sally Jessy Raphael in the Tribeca 2013 selection. Magnolia is set to release the pic via Magnolia on June 7. Watch the redband trailer featuring Al Sharpton’s infamous 1988 commercial break outburst:

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Hot Trailer: ‘Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr Movie’

By | Tuesday April 9, 2013 @ 12:23pm PDT

Late TV talk show host Morton Downey Jr turned debate of current issues into a blow-smoke-in-your-face brawl when he landed on the scene in the late 1980s, pioneering the “trash TV” format and paving the way for the controversial reality talk show genre. Directed by Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller and Jeremy Newberger, the upcoming documentary which premiered last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, tells the story of Downey’s rise and fall. Check out the trailer for Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr Movie below:

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