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David Fincher Close to Deal to Direct ‘World War Z 2’ (Exclusive)
After previously taking the film off its calendar, Paramount Pictures looks to be moving forward with a “World War Z” sequel, with David Fincher directing and Brad Pitt back to star, thanks to the studio’s new chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos, according to knowledgeable sources.
While Gianopulos has not officially official greenlit the movie yet, he is expected to do so in coming weeks. This will likely be among the studio chief’s first greenlit movies. Sources say that production would probably begin in the first quarter of 2018.
A spokesperson for the studio has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Variety first reported last summer that Pitt had been courting Fincher to direct the pic and that the director was intrigued by the idea. The plans had to be put on hold while Pitt dealt with his divorce from Angelina Jolie, and were put into question once the studio, »
- Justin Kroll
‘Captain America’ Director Joe Johnston Boards ‘Narnia’ Revival ‘The Silver Chair’ (Exclusive)
TriStar Pictures will partner with the Mark Gordon Company, the C.S. Lewis Company, and Entertainment One on the project with Mark Gordon, Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham, Vincent Sieber, and Melvin Adams producing the pic. “Life of Pi” scribe David Magee adapted the script.
“Joe is a wonderful storyteller who is equally at home in the biggest franchises and the most intimate character pieces,” Gordon said. “Because C.S. Lewis’ story is iconic and epic, but also tender, personal, and emotional, he’s the perfect choice to bring ‘The Silver Chair’ to the screen.”
The “Narnia” franchise’s three films — “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Prince Caspian,” and “The Voyage of the Dawn »
- Justin Kroll
M Night Shyamalan Unveils ‘Glass’: ‘Unbreakable’ & ‘Split’ Sequel To Star Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, James McAvoy
Breaking: In perfect M. Night Shyamalan style, the director teased he would share some “unbelievable news” on his Twitter feed today. And he has not disappointed. The helmer whose latest film, Split, has been a $275M worldwide hit, says his next picture will be the sequel to both that movie and 2000’s Unbreakable. Titled Glass, it will reteam Unbreakable stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, along with Split‘s James McAvoy. Shyamalan says of the “crazy comic book… »
Jonathan Demme, Oscar-Winning Director of ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ Dies At 73
Jonathan Demme, the filmmaker whose career ranged from the David Byrne documentary “Stop Making Sense” to the Oscar-winning “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” died this morning in New York. He was 73.
The cause was esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease, according to a source close to the family. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015, and his condition deteriorated in recent weeks.
Demme maintained a private personal life, but his career was marked by a remarkably versatile creative output that included acclaimed narratives and documentaries films stretching back to the early ’70s. He made his debut with the 1971 biker film “Angels Hard as They Come,” a Roger Corman production during the B-movie producer’s heyday, but his career reached another plane of critical and commercial success with a string of ’80s dramas, »
- Eric Kohn and Zack Sharf
Box Office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Soars to $6.6M on First Day Overseas
Director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened to a stellar $6.6 million in its first three foreign markets on Tuesday as it began its international assault in 58 territories this weekend, a week ahead of its May 5 launch in North America.
So far, the Disney and Marvel sequel is pacing well ahead of the first film. Guardians Vol. 2 debuted to $4.5 million in Australia, including previews. That's three times more than Guardians of the Galaxy in August 2014. It is also the second-highest opening day for any Marvel release behind The Avengers.
It posted »
- Pamela McClintock
Hilary Swank Joins Danny Boyle’s FX Limited Series ‘Trust’ (Exclusive)
Swank will star as Gail Getty, mother of the kidnapped John Paul Getty III, heir to the Getty oil fortune. It is left to her to pay her son’s multi-million dollar ransom, despite the fact she is broke.
The role marks Swank first TV role since the late 1990’s, when she appeared on such shows as “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Leaving L.A.,” and “Camp Wilder.” Since then, she has forged an impressive film career, winning Oscars for both “Million Dollar Baby” in 2005 and “Boys Don’t Cry” in 2000. She also won Golden Globes for both films, and was also nominated for a Globe for her role in the TV movie “Iron Jawed Angels.”
- Joe Otterson
Paul Verhoeven to Direct ‘Blessed Virgin,’ Based on True Story of Lesbian Nun
The new French-language project was revealed late Tuesday night in a tweet by Said and confirmed by production company Sbs on Wednesday.
In “Blessed Virgin,” Belgian actress Efira, who had a key role in “Elle,” will play a 17th-century nun who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. A companion is assigned to assist her through these visions, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic affair.
The film is based on a 1986 book by Judith C. Brown, “Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy.” Based on candid archival documents, “Immodest Acts” tells the true account of the rise and fall of Sister Benedetta Carlini, abbess of the Convent of »
- Robert Mitchell
Is Jesse Watters’ Well-Timed Vacation Tied to Ivanka Trump Flap?
Fox News’ “The Five” co-host Jesse Watters sent media watchdogs into a tizzy when he announced a vacation on Wednesday night after a day of controversy regarding comments he made about Ivanka Trump. Watters will miss “The Five” for the remainder of the week and Saturday’s edition of “Watters’ World.” It’s not clear if the vacation is simply a well-timed coincidence or if something is happening behind the scenes, but his absence was announced amid backlash over his remark about liking the way the First Daughter speaks into a microphone. Longtime fans of “The Five” are well aware »
- Brian Flood
Fox News’ Jesse Watters Takes Vacation Amid Controversy Over Ivanka Remarks
Anchor Jesse Watters is known for the playful banter he has put on display during dozens of person-on-the-street interviews. But some remarks he made during Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Five” weren’t seen as particularly light-hearted.
After watching footage of Ivanka Trump being called out during an appearance in Berlin, Watters uttered a line that was seen as disrespectful and misogynist.
“It’s funny, the left says they really respect women, and then when given an opportunity to respect a woman like that, they boo and hiss,” he said, adding: “So I don’t really get what’s going on here, but I really liked how she was speaking into that microphone.”
Watters on Wednesday issued a statement saying the line was not meant as sexual innuendo. “During the break we were commenting on Ivanka’s voice »
- Variety Staff
United Airlines Will Now Offer Up to $10,000 to Bumped Passengers
United Airlines will now offer passengers up to $10,000 for giving up their seats on overbooked flights in the wake of a forced removal of a passenger earlier this month. On Thursday, the airlines announced 10 changes to improve the customer experienced as a “result of United’s thorough examination of its policies and procedures, and commitment to take action.” United vows to: Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only. Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk. Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to $10,000. Establish. »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Ludacris Stands Ground While James Corden Fires an Apple at His Face (Video)
“Fate of the Furious” star Ludacris joined “The Handmaid’s Tale” actress Elisabeth Moss on Wednesday for a fruit salad-tastic game of James Corden’s “Flinch.” The rapper/actor went first, and proved he wasn’t scurred at all. The “Mad Men” alum was a totally different story. To be fair, she had far-less street cred on the line. Third-up was Eugenio Derbez, who had a pretty good quip about “The Late Late Show’s” plexiglass barrier: “If you hit the wall too hard and it cracks, I’m warning you: I know I’m Mexican, but I’m not gonna pay for that wall, »
- Tony Maglio
Bill O’Reilly Defends Ann Coulter Against ‘Snowflake Fascists on College Campuses’
Former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly defended Ann Coulter on his “No Spin News” podcast Wednesday night, bashing “snowflake fascists on college campuses.” O’Reilly quoted New York University Provost Ulrich Baer, who recently wrote “As a scholar of literature, history and politics, I am especially attuned to the next generation’s demands to revise existing definitions of free speech to accommodate previously delegitimized experiences. Freedom of expression is not an unchanging absolute.” The former “O’Reilly Factor” host didn’t appreciate the term “delegitimized” when referring to Coulter and made his opinion perfectly clear. Also Read: Ann Coulter »
- Brian Flood
Watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s Latest Work: Haim’s ‘Right Now’ Music Video (Video)
Paul Thomas Anderson’s followup to “Inherent Vice,” a London-set fashion drama starring Daniel Day-Lewis, doesn’t open until Christmas. To satiate his fans, the Oscar-nominated director made a surprise collaboration ahead of that film’s release: a music video for Haim’s new single, “Right Now.” The song is the lead song off the band’s sophomore album “Something to Tell You,” which arrives July 7, four years after 2013’s hit record “Days Are Gone.” Anderson’s video is one long take of a live studio recording of the single. Also Read: Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis Mystery Movie Plot »
- Nigel M. Smith
NBCU Boss Steve Burke Appeals to Hollywood: ‘Strikes Aren’t Good for Anybody’
NBCUniversal Steve Burke on Thursday weighed in on the looming Hollywood writers strike, which is set to start next week if the Writers Guild of America cannot come to terms with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over a new contract. Not surprisingly, the broadcast and cable executive isn’t in favor of the potential picketing. “Strikes aren’t good for anybody,” Burke said during parent company Comcast’s first-quarter 2017 conference call. “The people on both sides of the table tend to lose.” Also Read: What 'SNL' Will Do If Hollywood Writers Go on Strike Next Week That said, »
- Tony Maglio
Box-Office Preview: 'The Circle' No Match for 'Fate of the Furious'
Be prepared for another quiet frame at the U.S. box office on the last weekend before the summer season kicks off May 5.
The biggest new offering that opens Friday is filmmaker James Ponsoldt's The Circle, an indie thriller about the dangers of the high-tech age that stars Emma Watson, who is coming off her billion-dollar blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, and Tom Hanks. The film is projected to open in the $11 million-$12 million range from 3,163 theaters.
That won't be enough to drive The Fate of the Furious off the road. The latest installment »
- Pamela McClintock
‘The Circle’ Director Remembers Working With ‘Endlessly Generous’ Bill Paxton
“The Circle” director James Ponsoldt remembered the late actor Bill Paxton as “endlessly generous” during the film’s Tribeca premiere on Wednesday. The Dave Eggers adaptation was Paxton’s final film project before his death in February at age 61.
“Bill was amazing,” Ponsoldt said. “He was one of my favorite actors for the longest time, going back to when I was a kid.”
The director, known for “The Spectacular Now” and “The End of the Tour,” added, “He was even better than what I could have hoped for. He was endlessly generous, obsessed with the details his character, and generous with the actors that he worked with. He himself was a filmmaker so he understood the job that everyone had, and respected everyone. He’s the type of guy who would text you in the middle of the night to tell you there was a great old noir movie on Turner Classic Movies. »
- Seth Kelley
NBCUniversal Chief Steve Burke on Looming WGA Walkout: ‘Strikes Aren’t Good for Anybody’
Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, told Wall Street analysts that he’s “optimistic” that a potential Hollywood writers’ strike will be averted and that the sides will be able to work out an agreement in the next few days.
“Strikes aren’t good for anybody,” he said on Comcast’s first quarter earnings call. “I’m hopeful we’re going to get it done, and we’re coming down to the deadline.”
The Writers Guild of America’s contract with producers is set to expire at midnight Pt on May 1, and the guild has made preparations for members to hit the picket line.
A walkout by writers threatens to disrupt production schedules for NBCU and other media companies. But in the near term, the Peacock is riding high: In Q1, NBCU’s film division boosted revenue 43% to $2 billion with the addition of DreamWorks Animation and strong box office performance of “Get Out,” “Fifty Shades Darker »
- Todd Spangler
‘One Week and a Day’ Review: Shiva Stoner Comedy Is a Hazy Delight
Tears of laughter and tears of grief are both in abundant supply in Asaph Polonsky’s uproariously funny and heart-wrenchingly moving “One Week and a Day.” Playing in the Critic’s Week sidebar in Cannes, the film examines the grieving process through a haze of pot smoke and sly humor. “One Week and a Day” takes place in the time immediately after the ritual seven days of mourning — the shiva — mandated by the Jewish faith. In some ways, that is the most difficult time of all. After seven highly regimented days, structured by food and friends and prayer, those in. »
- Ben Croll
NBCUniversal, Broadway Video Will Partner to Make Comedy Content for Advertisers
Broadway Video is best known for its many famous productions: “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and “Portlandia,” among others. Soon, the production house may gain a reputation for helping NBC’s advertisers as well.
Under a new partnership with NBCUniversal’s in-house NBCU Content Studio, Broadway Video will make available a team of its writers, directors and producers to certain NBCUniversal advertisers. Advertisers will be able to create original comedy content that can run on NBCU properties, but also on sites owned and operated by the individual marketers.
“There is a lot of exciting stuff on the horizon,” noted Wendy Wildfeuer, senior vice president of the NBCU Content Studio, , The NBCU Content Studio, a unit established last year that helps advertisers align with creative talent at the media company to devise promotional content. She said she expected Broadway Video to help advertisers craft short-form comedy video that could »
- Brian Steinberg
Johnny Depp Appears as Captain Jack Sparrow on 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Ride
Some visitors to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at California's Disneyland got a surprise: Captain Jack Sparrow himself.
Johnny Depp donned the getup of his swashbuckling alter ego and interacted with riders on Wednesday. Videos taken by park goers and shared on social media show Depp chatting with fans as they passed by on the ride's boats. He also spoke to a crowd outside.
Depp returns to the big screen as Sparrow next month in the fifth film based on the ride. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens May 26, after premiering at Shanghai Disneyland »
- the Associated Press
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