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Tamara Jenkins Delivers Infertility Dramedy ‘Private Life’ for Sundance Opening Night

  • The Wrap
Tamara Jenkins Delivers Infertility Dramedy ‘Private Life’ for Sundance Opening Night
Director Tamara Jenkins has always been interested in the family dynamic. The indie classic “Slums of Beverly Hills” was about failed upward mobility in the late 1970s. “The Savages” was about disinterested siblings who need to solve the problem of an ailing father.

After a ten-year break, Jenkins returned to open the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night with “Private Life,” about a reproductively-challenged couple who need to start a family before they eviscerate the two-person unit they’ve already got.

Kathryn Hahn plays Rachel, a 41-year-old novelist who...
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Weekend Box Office: 'Den of Thieves' Nabs $950K in Thursday Previews

Weekend Box Office: 'Den of Thieves' Nabs $950K in Thursday Previews
Den of Thieves nabbed $950,000 in Thursday preview screenings.

STXfilms' R-rated heist movie stars Gerard Butler as a cop who's pitted against a crew looking to rob the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Pablo Schreiber and O'Shea Jackson Jr. are also among the cast of the thriller, which marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Christian Gudegast. It screens in 2,432 theaters, and could pull in $7 million-$8 million.

12 Strong earned $900,000 in preview screenings on Thursday night. The Warner Bros. release follows a Special Forces team into battle in Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Chris...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'Empire' Co-Creator Danny Strong to Pen 'Oliver Twist' Movie for Disney, Ice Cube

'Empire' Co-Creator Danny Strong to Pen 'Oliver Twist' Movie for Disney, Ice Cube
Danny Strong, co-creator of Fox's Empire, has been tapped to pen Disney’s modern and musical take on Charles DickensOliver Twist, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Thomas Kail, the Tony-winning director of Hamilton, is attached to helm the project, which has Ice Cube on board to star and produce.

Also producing are Marc Platt, the veteran movie producer who was behind Broadway’s hit musical Wicked, and Jeff Kwatinetz of The Firm.

Oliver Twist is one of Dickens’ most famous works and tells of an orphan boy who moves from a life as an exploited child laborer to being under the wings of Fagin, a leader of...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'Toy Story 4' Finds Its Writer

'Toy Story 4' Finds Its Writer
Toy Story 4 has found its writer. 

Stephany Folsom, who recently had a feud with Marvel after being denied a "Story by" credit on Thor: Ragnarok, has been tapped to write the script for the upcoming fourth installment of the long-running Pixar franchise, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. 

Rashida Jones was initially attached as writer for the film, along with her writing partner Will McCormack, but she left the project last year. It was reported that Jones stepped away from the project early on after an unwanted advance from Pixar head John Lasseter, who took a leave of...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Netflix Acquires ‘Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’ Starring ‘Stranger Things’ Actress Shannon Purser

Netflix Acquires ‘Sierra Burgess Is a Loser’ Starring ‘Stranger Things’ Actress Shannon Purser
Netflix has acquired “Sierra Burgess Is A Loser,” a feature film from Black Label Media.

Ian Samuels directed the pic with Lindsey Beer penning the script. The movie stars “Stranger Things” actress Shannon Purser, Rj Cyler, Kristine Froseth, Noah Centineo, Chrissy Metz, Alan Ruck, and Lea Thompson.

The film is a modern rom-com retelling of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, set in high school. It centers on Sierra (Purser), an intelligent teen who does not fall into the shallow definition of high school pretty but, in a case of mistaken identity that results in unexpected romance, must team with the popular girl (Froseth) in order to win her crush.

The film is produced and fully financed by Black Label Media, with Molly Smith, Rachel Smith, Trent Luckinbill, and Thad Luckinbill serving as producers. Wme brokered the deal.

Best known as Barb in Season 1 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Purser can be seen next in NBC’s drama
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Competition Will be Stiff for New Releases With 'Jumanji' Set to Remain #1

Competition Will be Stiff for New Releases With 'Jumanji' Set to Remain #1
This weekend sees Warner Bros.'s 12 Strong and STX's R-rated heist thriller Den of Thieves hitting theaters, both of which are targeting male audiences, which means they'll also have to contend with the NFL conference championship games this Sunday. Additionally, a couple of notable expansions are taking place this weekend along with Roadside's moderate release of Forever My Girl. That being said, all appear as if they'll be settling in behind last weekend's #1 and #2 films, as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Post are expected to hold on to those top two spots. Jumanji topped last weekend's box office after dropping just 24.5%, and this weekend it should continue to hold on rather well. While we're currently anticipating a drop around 32% and a fifth weekend around $19 million, don't be surprised if it hangs on a little better than that. The film should top $315 million domestically by end of day Sunday,
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

Trump Demands Babies Not Be Born After Nine Months: No, Really, He Said This

President Trump made one of his more confusing slips on Friday, appearing to defy the laws of nature by insisting: “Right now, in a number of states, the laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month. It is wrong. It has to change.” What he meant to say, apparently, was that the laws in a number of states allow a baby to be aborted in the ninth month. He’s wrong about that, too. Also Read: Reminder: Donald Trump Avoided Vietnam Draft Because His Feet Hurt Trump spoke at an anti-abortion rally, and his words...
See full article at The Wrap »

PGA Honorees Sound Off on Risk, Reward and Storytelling

PGA Honorees Sound Off on Risk, Reward and Storytelling
Ava DuVernay, Ryan Murphy, and Charles Roven will all be honored at the Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 20.

Ava DuVernay

Visionary Award

DuVernay, the guild’s Visionary Award honoree, first picked up a movie camera 13 years ago. She was 32.

Since then the L.A. native has completed three narrative features, with the fourth on its way, and two feature-length documentaries, picking up Academy Awards nominations for “Selma” and “13th.” In her spare time she created a television series called “Queen Sugar.” Her upcoming fourth narrative, Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” makes her the first African-American woman to direct a film budgeted above $100 million.

“There was no thought in my head when I started that [my career] would ever become this,” DuVernay says. But all the success in a short period of time has not gone to the filmmaker’s head. In part that’s because DuVernay spent 14 years working as an entertainment publicist.

“I rolled
See full article at Variety - Film News »

French Cinema Box Office Overseas Rebounds in 2017

French Cinema Box Office Overseas Rebounds in 2017
Paris — Fulfilling expectations, after the softest year in a decade in 2016, French film exports bounced back in 2017, with box office for French films outside France near doubling the year before, as French cinema fired on its increasingly well-established three cylinders: a Luc Besson English-language actioner, animation, and comedy.

Provisional box office for French films overseas surged in admissions, up to 80.5 million, and 2016’s €257.5 million ($303.8 million) box office take rose to €468 million ($552.1 million), near exact par for the past decade or “typical” as Gilles Renouard, Unifrance deputy director, called it at the presentation of statistic at the event. The recovery will seem Pyrrhic to some, driven by Besson’s “Valerian and the City of the Thousand Planets,” whose €170.9 million ($201.6 million) outside France was not enough to save the film, nor purported franchise, nor, according to reports, the need of Besson’s EuropaCorp’s to find a new investor or owner to slash its debt load.

Figures were announced
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Super Troopers 2' Red Band Trailer Brings the Team to Canada

'Super Troopers 2' Red Band Trailer Brings the Team to Canada
Broken Lizard is back.

The long-awaited sequel to 2001's cult comedy classic Super Troopers is reporting for duty on April 20, and the new red band trailer promises just as much raucous action as the first film. 

"They've been waiting for another chance," a voiceover introduces as the trailer begins. "They've been waiting for their country to need them again. That time is 'meow.' " 

The plot for the upcoming film centers around a French-Canadian on the Vermont border that technically falls under United States jurisdiction, putting the troopers in direct conflict with the resident Mounties of the Great White...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Logan Lerman in Talks to Play Dan Rather in JFK Drama ‘Newsflash’

Logan Lerman in Talks to Play Dan Rather in JFK Drama ‘Newsflash’
Logan Lerman is in negotiations to play newscaster Dan Rather in “Newsflash,” centered on CBS’ coverage of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

If the deal goes through, Lerman will portray Rather as a co-worker of Walter Cronkite in the movie. Rather had joined CBS in 1962 and had been appointed chief of the southern bureau in New Orleans.

Seth Rogen came on board last month to portray Cronkite. David Gordon Green is directing the drama from Ben Jacoby’s script. Former Warner Bros. production president Greg Silverman is producing through his Stampede Ventures, along with Adam Kolbrenner of Madhouse Entertainment.

The network broke into its broadcast of “As the World Turns” for Cronkite to announce that Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. CBS returned to the soap opera, then interrupted it again with Cronkite’s announcement of Kennedy’s death: “From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official: President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Get Out’ Channeled the Changing Zeitgeist in Exposing Racial Unease

“Get Out,” a PGA film nominee and recipient of this year’s Stanley Kramer award, immediately struck a chord with critics and moviegoers when it debuted early last year.

Jordan Peele’s horror satire managed to capture the zeitgeist and puncture the notion of a post-racial society once and for all. His achievement is even more noteworthy given that he began writing “Get Out” during the Obama presidency, when views of race relations were far rosier than they would become during Donald Trump’s campaign and eventual presidency.

The movie deftly tackles racial unease between African-American and white communities: Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a photographer, heads with his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to visit her parents, who seemingly accept him despite the racial difference between the couple. It is only as the movie progresses that Chris discovers the true horror of their intentions.

Sean McKittrick, one of the producers on the film, first talked
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Jersey Shore’ Star Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino Faces 5 Years in Prison After Guilty Plea in Tax Case

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino could receive up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion on Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The 36-year-old reality TV star pleaded guilty to tax evasion, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. According to the Department of Justice, Sorrentino admitted to concealing some of his income in 2011 to avoid paying the full amount of taxes that he owed, making cash deposits of less than $10,000 each into bank accounts in order to avoid the IRS’s attention. Also Read: 'Jersey Shore' Alum Mike Sorrentino Indicted for...
See full article at The Wrap »

Logan Lerman in Talks to Play Dan Rather in ‘Newsflash’

Logan Lerman in Talks to Play Dan Rather in ‘Newsflash’
Logan Lerman is in talks to star alongside Seth Rogen in the news biopic “Newsflash,” representative for the project told TheWrap. The “Percy Jackson” star is in line to play a young Dan Rather alongside Rogen’s Walter Cronkite as the movie follows CBS News’ coverage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, leading up to the famous moment when Cronkite announced the president’s death to a horrified nation. In 1963, Rather, then 32, was making a transition from CBS’ Dallas affiliate to its new station in New Orleans, and was in Dallas to run a quick job when JFK was shot...
See full article at The Wrap »

Ana Gasteyer on Moving From the Groundlings Troupe to ‘Saturday Night Live’

After getting her start training with the Los Angeles improv-sketch group the Groundlings in the ’90s, Ana Gasteyer booked guest roles on quintessential sitcoms of the decade, including “Seinfeld” (in the infamous 1995 episode “The Soup Nazi”), “Mad About You” and “Just Shoot Me!” In 1996, she joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” creating iconic characters that included low-key NPR host Margaret Jo McCullen and impressions of personalities like Martha Stewart and Joan Rivers. She has continued to show off her comedy chops on such programs as “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “Suburgatory” and “The Goldbergs,” and is now starring in the TBS sitcom “People of Earth” as well as appearing opposite Maria Bamford in the offbeat Netflix comedy “Lady Dynamite.”

Gasteyer was first mentioned in Variety on Sept. 5, 1996, for joining the “SNL” cast.

At what point did you decide comedy was for you?

At Northwestern there is an improv comedy troupe called the Mee-Ow Show. That was my
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Donna Langley on Universal Success and the ‘Fate of the Movie Gods’

Donna Langley on Universal Success and the ‘Fate of the Movie Gods’
Universal keeps outdoing itself under Donna Langley’s watch.

Last year was its most profitable yet, boasting tentpole successes including “Despicable Me 3” and “The Fate of the Furious,” as well as such breakout hits as “Get Out” and “Girls Trip.” Its first quarter was its best ever, setting the momentum for the rest of 2017. All told, the studio crossed $5 billion worldwide at the box office, its second time ever, during a year in which box office was down industry wide.

Fittingly enough the Producers Guild of America will honor Langley, Universal’s chair since 2013, with its Milestone Award at its Jan. 20 ceremony.

“Donna Langley is essentially the epitome of a 21st century studio executive,” Producers Guild awards chairs Donald De Line and Amy Pascal said when announcing the honor, the PGA’s highest accolade. “Not only has she built Universal into a powerhouse through her stewardship of tentpole event films, she’s built
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance 2018: 'Blindspotting,' 'Private Life' Hit Two Classic Sundance Sweet Spots

Sundance 2018: 'Blindspotting,' 'Private Life' Hit Two Classic Sundance Sweet Spots
A year ago, on the eve of the inauguration of our 45th president – and a massive pink-hatted protest against said man to be staged in Washington – Robert Redford came out on the stage of the Eccles Theater and, without mentioning the orange elephant in the room, stressed the need for standing up: for the environment, for our democracy, for truth, for women's rights, for our rights as citizens, for the right to be seen and heard. "We stay away from politics," he'd said, before introducing a documentary about fighting climate
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Generation Wealth’

Sundance Film Review: ‘Generation Wealth’
Lauren Greenfield is on to something. The sociographic photo-essayist best known to moviegoers for her documentary portraits “Thin” and “The Queen of Versailles” has spent a quarter-century chronicling excess in all its forms: luxury living, hyper-consumerism, substance abuse, plastic surgery, child beauty pageants, spoiled celebrity kids, strippers, escorts, and trophy wives. With “Generation Wealth” — first her oeuvre-encompassing exhibition, then the blinged-out coffee-table book, and now this unexpectedly personal documentary of the same name — she makes a compelling argument for a society on the brink of precipitous decline, choosing to interpret the runaway vanity and rampant materialism observed in her own work as harbingers of our imminent destruction, while serving up Kim Kardashian and Donald Trump as case-in-point examples.

It’s a convenient thesis, since it so nicely fits a career spent documenting what one talking head calls “ultra-decadence,” albeit a bogus one, as if Diane Arbus looked back over her life’s work, only to conclude
See full article at Variety - Film News »

5 Burning Questions About Sundance 2018

5 Burning Questions About Sundance 2018
As Sundance 2018 kicks into high gear, it comes at a pivotal time for the movie industry. Independent films, for the most part, aren’t the box office darlings they used to be. Only a small handful of titles are able to break through at the box office each year (like “The Big Sick” or “Lady Bird”). There’s also a cultural shift taking place for women in Hollywood, following the public exposure of men like Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted dozens.

Sundance has always celebrated diverse voices, and the 2018 edition of the festival is no different. This year, 38% of movies here are directed by women and 32% of movies are from non-white directors. Here are the five biggest questions facing studios and filmmakers as the festival launches.

1. Will Amazon and Netflix Continue to Dominate the Market?

The past two Sundances have been tales of two streaming giants. Flush with cash, Amazon and Netflix
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Producers Wade Into Uncharted Territory at Guild Awards

Producers Wade Into Uncharted Territory at Guild Awards
This year’s Producers Guild Awards has already made history, thanks to a record number of nominees for the coveted Darryl F. Zanuck movie award. For the first time, 11 films made the final ballot.

The reason is prosaic — there was a tie during the nomination process — but the uncharted nature of the final vote fits the uncertain times in Hollywood.

Producers gathering Jan. 20 at the Beverly Hilton for the guild’s annual awards ceremony will both toast excellence and grapple with ways to address challenges ahead due to a widening sexual harassment scandal, the big six studios shrinking by one and a dismal summer box office.

Movies ranging from indie “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name” will vie against studio blockbusters “Dunkirk” and “Wonder Woman” for the Zanuck award, while TV shows including “The Crown,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” will compete for top honors in their respective categories. The guild will
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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