#1 ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Widens For $24M, ‘Haunted House’ Beats Disappointing ‘Gangster Squad’ For #2; ‘Silver Linings’, ‘Lincoln’, ‘Life Of Pi’ Get Oscar Bumps

By | Sunday January 13, 2013 @ 9:00am PST

SUNDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: Looks like Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal should stop worrying about all those torture scene critics in Hollywood and Washington DC. Not only did the controversy fuel filmgoers’ curiosity … Read More »

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Are Gun Control Pleas By Movie Stars Undermined By Onscreen Violence?

By | Wednesday January 2, 2013 @ 3:06pm PST
Mike Fleming

Well, you had to know this was coming from the gun crowd. A bunch of celebrities got together to speak out for gun control. In this video making the rounds, their pleas are superimposed with footage of the same actors … Read More »

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NRA’s Anti- Hollywood Stance An Assault On Our Intelligence

Mike Fleming

OPINION: Is anyone surprised that, following a one-week waiting period since 20 children and six others were gunned down in a Newtown, Conn. elementary school, the National Rifle Association would surface to pass the buck and blame the carnage on violent Hollywood movies and video games?

It has only been a few months since the last gun massacre, when 12 were killed and 58 wounded by an assault weapon-wielding madman during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. In the aftermath, I asked a number of filmmakers — and even studio moguls assembled at our The Contenders panel — if that tragedy caused them to re-evaluate the violence they depict onscreen. It’s a no-win question for studio moguls, and they were circumspect; they said they understood the responsibility of movies that project into the culture differently than other forms of media. But they haven’t dramatically changed the decision-making process on the movies they finance and distribute to the masses because they feel they already exercise responsible restraint. Quentin Tarantino — whom I interviewed before the Connecticut massacre — flat out rejects the notion that movie violence leads to the real thing.

Related: NRA Blames Violent Movies And Video Games For Gun Deaths

“I think that guy was a nut,” Tarantino told me in Playboy Magazine, referring to the Aurora shooter. “He went in there to kill a bunch of people because he knew there would be a lot of people there and he’d make a tremendous amount of news doing it. That’s no different from a guy going into a McDonald’s and shooting up people at lunchtime because he knows a lot of people will be there.” When I asked him to address criticism that onscreen violence promulgates the real thing, Tarantino pointedly said, “I make violent movies. I like violent movies. I’m on record about how I feel there is no correlation between art and life in that way.”

Some of my favorite films, from The Godfather to Heat and Goodfellas, depict violence. I hate guns, have never owned one, and do worry about gratuitously violent films — particularly in the horror genre — and I won’t watch them. I do find it disconcerting that right after the last two major shootings that studios and TV networks had to alter movies like Gangster Squad and more recently change marketing on films like Jack Reacher because of parallels to tragic events. I don’t play video games, and personally loathe those that make players participants in warfare settings. That’s mainly because I feel it is the height of disrespect to the armed forces risking their lives, only to have their soldiering reduced to a form of mindless entertainment. But for a gun lobby to point the finger at Hollywood for semi-automatic killing sprees is preposterous and it’s too bad that we are only just waking up to that. Read More »

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Sean Penn On Life In The Movie Business

By | Thursday December 13, 2012 @ 4:50pm PST

Sean Penn has never been one to mince words — and he doesn’t in a recent, wide-ranging interview with Esquire. When he gets around to talking about the current state of the movie biz, it seems he’s not too happy. The complete interview appears in the January issue of Esquire. Here are some excerpts:

I just did this picture that I enjoyed doing. Gangster Squad. But I do think that in general the standard of aspiration is low. Very low. And mostly they’re just doing a bunch of monkey-fuck-rat movies, most actors and actresses. And I blame them just as much as I do the business. I know everybody wants to make some money, everybody’s got a modeling contract, everybody’s selling jewelry and perfume. I’m blinded by it. Bob Dylan said in an interview one time — somebody asked him, Are you really this reclusive? He says, No, I’m not reclusive, man. I’m exclusive. Exclusivity is like intimacy.

Read More »

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Hot New Trailer: ‘Gangster Squad’

By | Thursday October 11, 2012 @ 6:51pm PDT

Here’s the new trailer for Gangster Squad which opens January 11.  The original trailer was attached to some prints of The Dark Knight Rises. WB also shifted Gangster Squad to January 11 from September 7. The delay put some distance between the Aurora theater tragedy and Gangster Squad, and … Read More »

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It’s Official: WB Confirms Moving ‘Gangster Squad’ To Jan. 11, 2013

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 7:36pm PDT

Gangster Squad Release DateWarner Bros confirmed this evening it has moved Gangster Squad from September 7 to January 11, 2013. The delay will allow filmmakers to excise a shootout scene that takes place in a movie theater, due to … Read More »

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New Date For ‘Gangster Squad’: January 11

By | Wednesday July 25, 2012 @ 7:48am PDT
Mike Fleming

Related It’s Official: WB Delays ‘Gangster Squad’ Till January 11

Gangster Squad Release DateUPDATED, 7:36 PM: Warner Bros confirmed today that it has moved Gangster Squad from September 7 to January 11. The move allows the … Read More »

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UPDATE: Warner Bros Pulls Trailer Of Gangster Shooting Up Movie Theater

Warner Bros Gangster Squad TrailerEXCLUSIVE … UPDATE 9:30 AM: Warner Bros is now telling me that its outside non-studio spokeswoman failed to tell me the whole and accurate story about the process that led to the studio taking down its offensive Gangster Squad trailer this morning. A Warner Bros executive now tells me how the studio was scrambling to deal with the Aurora theater shooting crisis in the pre-dawn hours of the morning. Then, at 5 AM, one of the top distribution execs remembered that Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad trailer was playing “loose” this weekend timed to the studio’s The Dark Knight Rises release in about 30% of domestic theaters. (“Loose” means that theaters had been asked to play the trailer which was not paired with The Dark Knight Rises.)

Gangster Squad Trailer ShootingAccording to Warner Bros, this distribution exec suddenly remembered that the trailer for the mob movie contained a scene showing a gangster with a machine gun shooting up people in a movie theater from behind the big screen. This distribution exec quickly instructed the studio to “replace it as soon as possible”. At 6 AM, Warner Bros started notifying the theater circuits to pull the offensive Gangster Squad trailer. That is being done all over North America today. Meanwhile, Warner Bros’ marketing department is scrambling to get out its second-generation Gangster Squad trailer already in the works. This new trailer, without the movie theater scene, will be swapped out for the offensive one within a week. Warner Bros says this is now the whole story.

And the studio’s explanation which I absolutely believe also makes clear that, while my phone calls overlapped with their behind-the-scenes process, I was not responsible for the studio pulling the offensive Gangster Squad trailer with the movie theater shooting scene.

PREVIOUS 7:30 AM: This was truly terrible decision-making by Warner Bros – both to release a trailer like this and then not to pull it immediately after today’s tragedy. I have confirmed that the studio which released The Dark Knight Rises paired offered it with the official movie trailer for Gangster Squad, an upcoming pic set in 1949 about a ruthless Mafia Godfather who runs Los Angeles. One of the scenes in the trailer that’s been playing all morning today shows a gangster with a machine gun shooting up people in a movie theater from behind the big screen. Several outraged moviegoers tipped me to this scene. Read More »

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Ruben Fleischer Signs Pod Deal With 20th Century Fox TV

Ruben Fleischer 20th Century Fox TVRuben Fleischer has closed a pod deal with 20th Century Fox TV. The two-year pact will see the director-producer develop, direct and executive produce new comedy and drama projects for network and cable … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Gangster Squad’

By | Tuesday July 10, 2012 @ 11:24pm PDT

We saw the initial trailer for Gangster Squad a couple of months ago, now here’s the second. The cast for the period mob drama about the LAPD’s battle against Mickey Cohen includes Sean Penn (as Cohen), Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, Nick Nolte, Michael … Read More »

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Warner Bros Drops ‘Gravity 3D’ To 2013, Moves ‘Gangster Squad’ To Sept. 7

By | Monday May 14, 2012 @ 4:39pm PDT

The Sandra Bullock space pic Gravity 3D had been scheduled for November 21, but now it will premiere sometime in 2013. Warner Bros already has a full plate in the fourth quarter — Argo, Gangster Squad, The Hobbit and … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Gangster Squad’

Warner Bros has released the initial trailer Ruben Fleischer‘s Gangster Squad. The cast for the period mob drama about the LAPD’s battle against Mickey Cohen includes Sean Penn (as Cohen), Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Mireille Enos, Anthony Mackie, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi and … Read More »

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CAA Signs ‘The Killing’ Star Mireille Enos

By | Monday October 10, 2011 @ 11:09am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Mireille Enos has signed with CAA. She was with Innovative Artists. Enos got her big break when she was cast as the lead on AMC’s drama series The Killing, a role that earned her a Primetime Emmy nomination. Since … Read More »

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L.A. On-Location Filming Up 15% In 3Q

On-location filming in Los Angeles increased by 15.4% year-over-year during the third quarter, helped in part by eight feature film shoots in the region that were supported by the California Film & Television Tax Credit. The films — which include … Read More »

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Ambyr Childers Signs With WME, Lands ‘Gangster Squad’

Mike Fleming

Ambyr ChildersAmbyr Childers, who played the daughter of the faith founder (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film for Megan Ellison’s Annapurna and The Weinstein Company, has landed a key role in Gangster Squad, the Ruben Fleischer-directed period … Read More »

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Holiday Movie Release Date Moves: A Recap

It’s been a busy week for Hollywood studios settling on release dates. Here’s what’s happened:

Unauthorized, Sundance Now, Oct. 7**
Puss In Boots, DreamWorks Animation, Oct. 28 (Nov. 4)
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
, Paramount, Dec. 16 sneak previews (Dec. 21*)
The Adventures of Tintin, Paramount, Dec. 21 (Dec. 23)
War Horse, DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney, Dec. 25Read More »

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Warner Bros Dates ‘Gangster Squad’

Warner Bros said today that it will release its Ruben Fleischer-directed mob drama Gangster Squad on Oct. 19, 2012, right in the teeth of next year’s awards season. Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin and Emma Stone star in the … Read More »

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Nick Nolte Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Nick Nolte continues his recent career resurgence. He’s been set to join the cast of the Ruben Fleischer-directed Warner Bros drama Gangster Squad. Nolte will play Bill Parker, the new chief of police in Los Angeles, and the first … Read More »

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Holt McCallany Joins ‘Gangster Squad’

By | Thursday July 14, 2011 @ 9:05am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Holt McCallany, who starred in FX’s now-canceled but critically acclaimed boxing drama Lights Out this past season, has landed a role as the bodyguard and main enforcer to Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) in Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad. He joins … Read More »

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