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‘Black-ish’ Creator and Blake Griffin to Remake ‘White Men Can’t Jump’
“Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris will develop a movie remake of the 1990s sports comedy “White Men Can’t Jump,” which will be produced by Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin and Carolina Panthers All-Pro lineman Ryan Kalil. Released in 1992, “White Men Can’t Jump” stars Woody Harrelson as Billy Hoyle, a former college basketball star who wins bets against streetballers who think they can beat him because he’s white. His hustling strategy changes when he runs into Sidney (Wesley Snipes), another baller who tricks Billy out of a huge chunk of cash. After some prodding from their significant others, »
- Jeremy Fuster
Tupac Biopic 'All Eyez on Me' Lands at Lionsgate (Exclusive)
Lionsgate has acquired the U.S. rights to the Morgan Creek Entertainment film that follows the life of the iconic '90s rapper, and has set it for release June 16 — the day that would have marked Shakur’s 46th birthday.
The film chronicles his rise to superstardom as a hip-hop artist, actor, poet and activist, as well as his imprisonment and controversial time at Death Row Records. Shakur sold more than 75 million records worldwide, with his fourth studio album, 1996's All Eyez »
- Rebecca Ford
Maisie Williams joins Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston in Aardman’s 'Early Man'
The actress confirmed the news via her Twitter page.
— Maisie Williams (@Maisie_Williams) January 17, 2017
Production is currently underway at Aardman’s UK studios in Bristol on the feature, an animated prehistoric comedy adventure about a plucky caveman [Redmayne] who unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game.
Williams will voice the character Goona, a gallant and indomitable rebel who befriends the film’s hero.
Oscar-winning [link=tt »
- email@example.com (Tom Grater)
Roman Polanski to Serve as President of France's Cesar Awards
Roman Polanski will serve as president of this year’s Cesar Awards ceremony, the French Academy announced Wednesday.
Polanski won the best director Cesar for The Pianist in 2002 and Venus in Fur in 2014. »
- Rhonda Richford
Jessica Biel’s ‘The Sinner’ Anthology Series Picked Up By USA
“The Sinner,” for which Biel serves as both star and executive producer, is a crime thriller that follows Biel’s young mother after she commits a horrific act of violence she can’t explain. She and an investigator (Bill Pullman) take a long dark trip into her psyche to find that explanation, as the investigator grows more and more obsessed with uncovering the truth.
The series comes to USA from Universal Cable Productions through Biel and producing partner Michelle Purple’s Iron Ocean shingle. Biel, Purple, Simonds, Campos, and Charlie Gogolak serve as executive producers. This is the first project picked up to series under Iron Ocean’s pod deal with Ucp.
- Oriana Schwindt
Palm Springs Film Review: ‘Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis’
The terrorist attack that claimed 89 lives on Nov. 13, 2015 in Paris’ Bataclan theater was probably the first time most had heard of the rock act playing that night — one whose in-joke monicker was lost on a few clueless evangelicals who used the tragedy to decry the consequences of “Satan’s music.” (While their lyrics are cheerfully all for sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, their musical genre is most definitely not death metal.) Colin Hanks’ documentary “Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis” focuses on the titular California-based band’s principal creative relationship between co-founders Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme, the band’s connection with their French fans, and the mutual recovery that ensues after suffering the horrific trauma of terrorism. It’s an engrossing, ultimately poignant chronicle that will launch a limited theatrical release Feb. 10, then debut on HBO Feb. 13.
Those looking for a standard rock-doc won’t find it »
- Dennis Harvey
Roman Polanski to Preside France’s Cesar Awards
Paris– Controversial French-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski is set to preside the 42th edition of the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent to the Oscars.
Although the honorary role of president entails hardly more than a speech introducing the ceremony, it underscores the Academy of Arts and Techniques of cinema’s unwavering admiration for Polanski.
“It’s no less than 8 times that the Academy of Arts and Techniques of cinema has honored the director. An insatiable esthete, Roman Polanski has been reinventing his arts and films through the years,” said the Cesar Awards in a statement.
“Artist, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, comedian, director — there are so many words to define Roman Polanski, but only one to express our admiration and delight: Thank you, Mr. President,” stated the Academy, which is headed by Alain Terzian, who is also a film producer.
In the U.S., where he won an Oscar for “The Pianist” in »
- Elsa Keslassy
Russia Limits Foreign Ownership of Online Video Services
Russia's State Duma, the lower chamber of Parliament, has adopted in the first reading legislation introducing restrictions on the foreign ownership of online video services, a move targeting the likes of Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime.
Under the new law, set to come into effect June 1, foreign companies will be limited to holding a 20 percent stake in online video services operating in Russia. The legislation applies to professional services such as Netflix, Google Play and Apple TV but not to services like YouTube that rely on user-generated content.
Once the law is implemented, foreign companies must »
- Vladimir Kozlov
Palm Springs Film Review: ‘This Beautiful Fantastic’
There are no puppies, kittens or baby bunnies in “This Beautiful Fantastic.” That said, however, any restraint before the altar of adorableness is abandoned in writer-director Simon Aboud’s sophomore feature. Its heroine is so Amelie-like that she’s clad and coiffed like that pixie queen’s separated-at-birth English Rose twin. This winsome comedy may lack Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s high cinematic style, but it does hit the same general mark — which is to say, a sweet spot for some viewers that might induce sugar shock in others. Those seeking twee will get their fill when Samuel Goldwyn distributes the film Stateside, presumably later this year.
A foundling dumped as a babe in a banana crate — like Moses, but wackier! — on a Hyde Park orphanage stoop, Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay of “Downton Abbey”) grows up “the oddest of the odd,” a misfit whose threadbare social skills and peculiar habits »
- Dennis Harvey
Palm Springs Film Review: A Jew Must Die
In 1942, a well-off Jewish cattle dealer named Arthur Bloch was rather arbitrarily chosen for brutal assassination by local Nazi sympathizers in the Swiss hamlet of Payerne. Sixty-six years later, the town’s most famous son published a controversial book just before his own death that dragged this unpleasant historical chapter back into the national spotlight.
Stinging in its concision, screen adaptation “A Jew Must Die” chronicles the last hours of both Bloch — notably played by Bruno Ganz, cinema’s most famous portrayer of Hitler — and author Jacques Chessex, one of Switzerland’s leading 20th-century literary lights. Jacob Berger’s first feature in a decade incorporates deliberate period-blurring anachronisms to underline how the issues of anti-Semitism and fascistic violence remain sadly all too current today. Though its brevity may hinder some distributor interest, this potent drama could hardly be more relevant or effective.
After a brief written introduction informing us that »
- Dennis Harvey
Palm Springs Film Review: Keep Quiet
With far-right nationalist ideologies suddenly a matter of pressing interest to almost everyone, the timing is regrettably ideal for “Keep Quiet.” This fascinating documentary by co-directors Joseph Martin and Sam Blair finds a stranger-than-fiction hook for probing that disturbing global trend, with their protagonist a prominent, unabashedly anti-Semitic leader of controversial extremist groups whose political career derails when it emerges that his own family was Jewish not so long ago — even falling victim to the same Holocaust he and his cronies have denied.
But the redemptive arc of his embracing a new identity here is shadowed by doubt, as many viewers will question whether this turnabout is sincere or merely opportunistic. The result has a certain unreliable-narrator frisson that lends “Keep Quiet” an air of thriller-like drama. Kino Lorber plans to launch a U.S. theatrical run mid-February in New York, with Los Angeles following in early March.
- Dennis Harvey
China's Huahua Media, Shanghai Film Group Take Stakes in Vin Diesel’s 'xXx' Sequel
The two companies made the investment via a joint venture. They did not disclose the size of their stake, but said they will also assist as China marketing partners for the movie.
The third entry in the xXx extreme sports/spy action franchise, xXx: Return of Xander Cage will open in China on Feb. 10, right after the Chinese New Year holiday period, when international titles are blocked from the market to give local blockbusters an uncontested »
- Patrick Brzeski
Japan’s Nhk Picks Up Netflix’s ‘Hibana: Spark’
In a first of its kind deal, Japanese public broadcaster Nhk will broadcast the Netflix original drama series “Hibana: Spark” starting in February. The 10 episodes about the struggles of a comedy duo, of 45 to 50 minutes each, will air on Sunday evenings.
A Netflix original series produced in collaboration with the Yoshimoto Kogyo talent agency and Dentsu Digital Holdings, “Hibana: Spark” debuted in June last year. Based on a prize-winning bestseller by comedian Matayoshi Naoki and made under the supervision of veteran director Ryuichi Hiroki (“Kabukicho Love Hotel”,) the series was simultaneously streamed in 190 countries and territories.
Netflix has made the Japanese market a priority, offering a range of programming targeted at local viewers, though millions of overseas fans also stream the more popular Japanese shows. Among Netflix’s Japan-produced titles are: “Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City” and its follow-up “Terrace House: Aloha State,” and drama series “Atelier,” “Good Morning Call »
- Mark Schilling
‘Resident Evil,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Secure Release Dates in China
Sony’s “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” and Regency Enterprises’ “Assassin’s Creed” have both secured release dates in mainland China. The territory is the world’s second largest theatrical film market.
“Resident Evil” will be released on Feb.17, a week after another actioner “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” reaches Chinese screens. “Sing also releases in China on Feb. 17, three days after “La La Land” opens on Valentine’s Day.
“Assassins Creed” is released by 20th Century Fox in many territories, but the film was financed in association with Taiwan’s Catchplay and by Hong Kong’s Alpha Pictures. Those deals also gave them rights in Greater China.
“Assassins Creed” has grossed $185 million globally, with only $53 million of that in the domestic North American market.
“Resident Evil” starts its global commercial rollout from Jan. 23 in Japan, with most other territories following on Jan. 26 or 27 and a few more on Feb. »
- Patrick Frater
Focus on Women Directors at Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum
Women directors will be at the forefront at the 15th Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf) in 2017. Twenty-five projects have been selected to find funding at the financing platform this year, to be held March 13-15, with nearly half of the projects fronted by female directors.
They include Japanese filmmaker Miyake Kyoko, director Rubaiyat Hossain from Bangladesh, Chen Yi-jung from Taiwan, Honey B Singh from Singapore, Degena Yun from China, and Ying Weiwei, also from China.
Among the headlining projects is NARAtive Film 2017-2018 (title: work-in-progress) produced by Japanese director Kawase Naomi and directed by Ida Panahandeh, and Impossible »
- Karen Chu
BunnyRanch Boss Says Putin’s Claim That Russian Prostitutes are ‘Best in the World’ Is ‘Ridiculous’
Dennis Huff, the owner of the the Moonlite BunnyRanch in Nevada, is pushing back on Vladimir Putin’s recent claim that Russian prostitutes are “undoubtedly the best in the world.” The boss of the famed brothel, featured in HBO’s “Cathouse,” told TheWrap that his employees are so convinced that they’re better than their Russian counterparts, they’re willing to prove it. “BunnyRanch girls are offering Putin a two-hour bondage cage session for some intense discipline,” Huff told TheWrap. “They want to show him just how talented they are.” Also Read: 'Hookers 4 Hillary:' Politics Really Makes for Strange Bedfellows Speaking in Moscow on Tuesday, »
- Itay Hod
2017 Haf Project Market Takes Family and Female-Focus
New film projects by China’s Johnny Ma (“Old Stone”,) Hong Kong veteran Derek Chiu and Japan’s Naomi Kawase as producer are among the selection for the upcoming edition of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum (Haf.)
The event is among the oldest film project markets in Asia and is now in its 15th edition. It will be held in parallel with the massive FilMart rights market in Hong Kong and run March 13-15, 2017.
Organizers said that most of the shortlist are “family-driven projects that touch on contemporary social issues, while others explore topics such as non-traditional families, marriages in upheaval, and the complexities of parent-child relationships.” There are also science fiction and gothic thriller projects.
Five Hong Kong projects are among the titles selected. Chiu’s “Sung-kee’s No.1 Chung Ying Street,” drama about the 1967 riots in Hong Kong, sits alongside others including Tom Chung-sing’s “Impossible Split, »
- Patrick Frater
Watch Excavators Do Synchronized Dance at New Warriors’ Arena (Video)
If you think Stephan Curry is talented, you should see the skilled construction workers breaking ground on the Golden State Warriors’ new $1 billion stadium, Chase Center. No expense has been spared on the new home of the 2015 NBA champions — from the gold-plated shovels to the rich soil — but the most impressive thing was the synchronized dance the excavators performed while acrobats dressed as construction workers swung and fireworks exploded in the background. The team put on quite a show for the 1,000 guests — including Warriors’ All-Star forward Kevin Durant and head coach Steve Kerr — invited to witness the dawning of the new arena. »
- Debbie Emery
Italy Box Office: Local Films Account for Slight Overall Rise in 2016
The Italian box office showed minor growth in 2016, according to film association Anica which released its data for the calendar year on Tuesday. Total sales rose 3.9% over the previous year to $706 million (661 million euro). And tickets sold increased 3.9% to 105 million.
But the rise in figures was largely due to local films, most notably comedian Checco Zalone’s Quo Vado? which poked fun at the Italian job crisis and the bureaucracy of government positions.
Quo Vado? brought in an incredible $69.9 million (65.4 million euros) for the year. By contrast, last year’s number one film in Italy »
- Ariston Anderson
‘Deadpool’s’ Cinderella Shot
Nearly every industry group and guild has weighed in with nominations, and, no surprise, the most dominant film is “La La Land.” The musical has been nominated by 10 groups — every single one except the Visual Effects Society (an understandable omission).
One film that has been stunningly resilient alongside these Oscar powerhouses is “Deadpool,” Fox’s irreverent comic-book adaptation that opened nearly a year ago and made a big splash with $783 million in worldwide box office. It’s been nominated by the Producers Guild, Writers Guild, American Cinema Editors, Makeup and Hair Stylists Guild, and the Visual Effects Society. Tim Miller even picked up a first-time director nomination from the Directors Guild, edging out critically acclaimed debuts like “Krisha” and “The Witch.”
- Kristopher Tapley
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