‘Empire’ Star Grace Byers Joins Karl Urban and Sofia Vergara in ‘Bent’
Story follows a shamed and discredited narcotics detective who, upon his release from prison, makes plans to seek revenge on the accuser who framed him and killed his partner.
Byers will play a jazz singer and lounge owner who gets caught up in a police conspiracy. Ambi Entertainment is on board to finance and produce “Bent.” Moresco and David Guillod will also produce.
Production starts this month in Italy.
Byers can still be seen on “Empire,” which just had its spring premiere. She’s also married to “Empire” co-star Trai Byers, pictured above.
She is repped Apa and Primary Wave Entertainment.
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- Justin Kroll
Magnolia Picks Up Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson Comedy ‘Person to Person’
Magnolia Pictures has acquired North American rights to “Person to Person,” a comedy starring Michael Cera and “Broad City’s” Abbi Jacobson that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Writer/director Dustin Guy Defa’s sophomore feature (following 2011’s “Bad Fever”) follows a day in the lives of an eclectic mix of New Yorkers. These include a record collector hustling for a massive score while his roommate tries to make up for a big mistake; a teenager examining her best friend’s new relationship; and a rookie reporter and her tough boss investigating a murder case involving a clock store owner. »
- Matt Pressberg
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher Memorial Service — Watch Live
It’s a sad day for fans of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, as the mother-daughter duo are remembered today with a public memorial service at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. The ceremony will be held in a 1,200 seat theater at the cemetery and will feature James Blunt and John Williams’ music.
Read More: Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Remembered as a Symbol of Resistance at Women’s Marches
“We will be celebrating their lives with friends, family members, and the people who loved them, you,” Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher announced in a January statement. “The service will begin at 1:00 Pm and immediately afterwards, those who want to walk to their final resting place are welcome to do so. There are a limited number of seats available, and it will be on a first come first come, first seated basis. There will be room for »
- Graham Winfrey
‘Twin Peaks’ Mysterious Cherry Pie Billboards Appear Across the Country
With just under two months to go until the May 21 return of “Twin Peaks,” mysterious billboards have popped up around the country with nothing but cherry pie on them. Some billboards have a single slice of pie, while others show a full pie, but missing one slice.
The billboards have been spotted in Seattle – where the show’s original pilot, movie and new series were filmed – with additional billboard sightings in Missoula, Mont. (birthplace of David Lynch), and Philadelphia, where Lynch attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
What is the hidden meaning of the billboards? Fans will have to wait until the series airs to find out.
“There are probably a couple more out there, so keep your eyes peeled.. and on the road!” a blog post reads on WelcomeToTwinPeaks. »
- Graham Winfrey
James Gray Explains How Harvey Weinstein Wanted To Change The Ending Of ‘The Immigrant’
Harvey Weinstein‘s reputation as an overly hands on producer and distributor, has rightfully earned him the nickname Harvey Scissorhands. No shortage of directors including Martin Scorsese, Bong Joon-Ho, Billy Bob Thornton, Wong Kar-Wai, and more, have tangled with the Hollywood veteran over the versions of their films, and James Gray is on that list too. Back in 2000, Weinstein forced Gray to shoot a new ending to “The Yards” (he didn’t have final cut) for the film’s theatrical release, but the filmmaker at least got his director’s cut released on DVD.
- Kevin Jagernauth
Liam Neeson, Anna Kendrick and More Audition to Be Stephen Hawking’s New Voice in Hilarious Red Nose Day Sketch
Liam Neeson and Anna Kendrick recently auditioned for the voice role of a lifetime: Stephen Hawking. The pair are just two celebrities from a larger group that took part in a hilarious Comic Relief video in which they lobby the world renowned scientist who suffers from Als to pick them as the person to replace the computerized voice he’s used for more than 30 years.
Read More: ‘Love Actually’ Sequel: First Trailer for Short Film Asks Which Cast Members Have Aged the Best
“Stephen, it’s me. Surely it has to be me,” Neeson says in the video. “Listen to my voice. It’s deep, it’s sexy, it’s got a tinge of … physics?”
In Kendrick’s audition tape, the actress calls herself “the obvious choice,” ading, “I’m intelligent, kind of, and, I’m young and cool, kind of.”
The project is part of Red Nose Day, a »
- Graham Winfrey
Two Directors Added To The Short-List For Live-Action ‘Akira’
It seems that every six months or so, there are new rumors about the long-awaited live-action remake of “Akira.” Ever since Warner Bros. secured the rights in 2002, there have been rumors about writers, directors, and actors all coming and going from the project. Well, get ready, there are new rumors about the film. According to a recent episode of Meet the Movie Press, we can add two more names to the long list of people associated with the film.
Continue reading Two Directors Added To The Short-List For Live-Action ‘Akira’ at The Playlist. »
- Charles Dean
Robert Rodriguez To Direct ‘Escape From New York’ Remake
And the remakes keep a-coming. Robert Rodriguez (“From Dusk till Dawn,” “Sin City”) has been hired by 20th Century Fox to remake the 1981 John Carpenter classic “Escape from New York.” Fox won a bidding war for the rights to the reboot in 2015 and has high hopes to reinvent the property as a “Planet of the Apes”-esque franchise. What studio isn’t trying to turn every brand into a franchise?
- Elizabeth MacLeod
‘Attack on Titan’ Season 2 New Trailer: Humankind Faces Off Against Flesh-Eating Beasts
Funimation has released another trailer for Season 2 of the manga series, ‘Attack on Titan,’ in which giant beasts attack the city of Shinganshina and threaten to wipe out humankind. Here’s the official description of the series from IMDb.
After his hometown is destroyed and his mother is killed, young Eren Jaegar vows to cleanse the earth of the giant humanoid Titans that have brought humanity to the brink of extinction.
Protecting what’s left of humanity are three walls — Wall Maria, Wall Rose and Wall Sheena — and after breaking through the first wall in season one, it appears that the second wall will also be breached in season two.
Seen in the clip are Eren, Mikasa and Armin fighting back and taking on the beasts, while a handful on new titans attack various Survey Corps. »
- Graham Winfrey
‘Justice League’ Trailer: Zack Snyder Gets Another Chance to Save the Dceu, And It Looks Crazy Epic
The gang is all here! The new trailer for “Justice League” has arrived, and it features some pretty badass new footage of Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash teaming up to stop the latest CGI threat bent on destroying the world.
“Justice League” follows the events of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” with Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince (“Gal Gadot”) rallying up a crew of metahumans to fight Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) in the wake of Superman’s death. Of course Superman won’t be gone for too long, but just how he returns and factors into the plot remains to be seen.
While fans are no doubt curious about how the Dceu will progress in the first big meet-up of its many heroes, the industry is watching “Justice League” even »
- Zack Sharf
‘Justice League’ Unites In New Trailer For Zack Snyder’s Epic Superhero Movie
Well, it’s really all on this. You can tally up the box office receipts all you want for “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” but perception is just as valuable, if not moreso, and right now, DC Films needs a movie that will succeed with both audiences and critics. Perhaps they’ll get it this summer with “Wonder Woman,” but it’s really “Justice League” that has to be an unequivocal homerun.
- Kevin Jagernauth
‘Phillauri’ Review: Anushka Sharma Produces a Bollywood Ghost Story That Falls Short of Its Potential
Anushka Sharma has, over her nine years in Bollywood, proven herself with powerful roles reflecting both exceptional talent and maturity that have heightened our expectations from her as an actress. The chilling thriller “NH10,” the 2015 maiden feature from her production house Clean Slate Films — one of the few in Bollywood companies helmed by a female actor — more than lived up to the company’s mission to tell risky, non-clichéd stories. Setting all that aside, while Clean Slate’s second release, “Phillauri,” has a promising premise, it’s disappointing to see first-time director Anshai Lal’s primarily play-it-safe treatment and lethargic pacing make it an underwhelming watch.
The story opens with Kanan (Suraj Sharma, of “Life of Pi” fame), who, after a three-year stint making music in Canada, has reluctantly returned home to Amritsar, Punjab to wed his high school sweetheart, Anu (Mehreen Pirzada). His trepidation towards the marriage is only »
- Anisha Jhaveri
Robert Rodriguez Will Direct ‘Escape From New York’
Robert Rodriguez will direct “Escape From New York,” 20th Century Fox’s remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 film, Deadline reports. Fox won a bidding war for rights to the project in 2015. Studiocanal owned the rights to the original, which was released by Avco Embassy.
Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman’s The Picture Company will produce. “Luther” writer Neil Cross is writing the script. Carpenter will executive produce the project. Fox aims to breathe new life into the property, with the intention of launching a franchise.
Rodriguez just finished working with Fox on “Alita: Battle Angel,” an action-adventure film based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga graphic novels. The script for the film was written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis. Set in the 26th century, the story follows a female cyborg who’s rescued from the scrap heap by a scientist. »
- Graham Winfrey
‘Into the Badlands’: The Hong Kong Secret That Makes the Show’s Amazing Martial Arts Possible
The “Into the Badlands” set is a fascinating aural environment when the show’s epic fights are filmed.
That’s thanks to the blend of accents amongst the crew — American, English, Irish — as well as the Cantonese instructions being barked out as The Widow (Emily Beecham), Tilda (Ally Ioannides), and their many stunt doubles spin about and spar with each other, filming action so in-your-face that before certain shots, cameramen have to put on lacrosse helmets.
Read More: ‘Into the Badlands’ Review: Season 2 Will Cure Your ‘Iron Fist’-Induced Martial Arts Blues
It’s a blend of sounds that echo the show’s own eclectic nature. “Badlands” has stood out since its premiere in November 2015 as a show that blends genres and boasts one of the most bonkers narratives on television. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where fighting ability might be the only thing that keeps you from a bloody (and we mean Bloody) death, »
- Liz Shannon Miller
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Nears Deal to Direct, Star in Channing Tatum Musical
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in talks to direct and star in a musical comedy for Universal, Variety reports. Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum are already attached to star in the R-rated film, currently titled “Wingmen.”
Gordon-Levitt and “21 Jump Street” writer Michael Bacall reportedly pitched the idea in 2016, starting a heated bidding war among several studios.
The story centers on two pilots who crash-land in Las Vegas. Sources told Variety the movie will be in the vein of “Pitch Perfect” and “The Book of Mormon.” Other filmmakers who were considered to direct the project included James Bobin, Seth Gordon and “The Book of Mormon” director Casey Nicholaw.
Marc Platt Productions’ Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will produce alongside Tatum’s Free Association and Gordon-Levitt’s HitRecord Films. Universal senior VP of production Kristin Lowe will oversee the project for the studio. »
- Graham Winfrey
New York Gets The Spotlight In 3 New ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Posters
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is right around the corner swinging into theaters this summer. But one has to wonder about Sony‘s upcoming plan. With the help of Marvel, the ailing studio’s been able to get the Spider-Man character back on track (thanks to his stand-out appearance in “Captain America: Civil War“). But Sony looks like they’re returning to a lot of the ill-conceived ideas that revolved around the very poorly-received “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” A Venom spin-off movie is on the way as well as a Black Cat and Sable movie (the latter being a fairly unknown character).
Continue reading New York Gets The Spotlight In 3 New ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Posters at The Playlist. »
- The Playlist
‘Bob’s Burgers’: The Most Optimistic Show on TV? Cast and Creator Champion Positivity at PaleyFest
Fans feed off television for different reasons. You might watch “The Americans” for the thrills or “Veep” to learn a few new insults, but the cast and creator of “Bob’s Burgers” made a compelling case for finding compassion through TV while speaking at PaleyFest Friday night.
“We’re in a moment when you have to make a choice to be optimistic,” creator Loren Bouchard said. “We made that choice with this show. The family itself is optimistic.”
“It’s not a part of the show that we set out explicitly to include,” he said. “But, in this day and age, I find myself thinking it’s an essential element of the show.”
“It’s one of the best parts of ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ that they’re in tough straits.” star H. Jon Benjamin added. “I think that’s the heart of the show: They’re a struggling family that »
- Ben Travers
‘Sing Street’ Actor Latest To Join The Young Han Solo Film
Whether you’re a “Star Wars” fan or not, and maybe you couldn’t care less about what Han Solo’s life was like between the ages of 18 and 24, you have to admit that the upcoming untitled Han Solo prequel film features a hell of a cast. According to Variety, the film, written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, is adding another strong actor to the cast.
Continue reading ‘Sing Street’ Actor Latest To Join The Young Han Solo Film at The Playlist. »
- Charles Dean
"Is this the moving picture ship?"—Opening line of King Kong (1933)You can get close to madness trying to fit the entire cultural legacy of the original King Kong into a single box. Even setting aside the two Hollywood remakes, you're still left with hastily made or quickly buried sequels, follow-ups like Mighty Joe Young (1949), a Universal Studios ride, a direct-to-video cartoon, a children’s TV series, and a set of 1960s Japanese-American co-productions—Kingu Kongu!—which saw the big ape square off against Godzilla and "Mechani-Kong" in showdowns with worse special effects than the film that preceded them by thirty years. Apologies for anything I've left out, because by this point King Kong is a cottage industry unto itself, an old-fashioned self-perpetuating Hollywood myth that's morphed in meaning and presentation but never entirely gone away. The sight of King Kong atop the Empire State Building, with its a mixture »
Writers’ Guild Negotiations Stall, as Leaders Call for Strike Authorization Vote
The Writers Guild of America is inching a step closer toward a potential writers’ strike.
The WGA’s negotiating committee sent a letter to members on Friday, recommending that the guild’s 12,000 members take a vote on strike authorization. It did not give a timetable for such a vote, however, and such a vote would not automatically lead to a strike.
Negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Pictures & Television Producers started March 13, but without any movement, the guild is looking to take the next step.
Read More: Another Writers’ Strike May Be Looming — Report
“On the last day of these two weeks, the companies’ proposal has barely a single hard-dollar gain for writers,” the letter said. “$51 billion in profits and barely a penny for those of us who make the product that makes the companies rich. But that’s not all. In response to our proposal to »
- Michael Schneider
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