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Sandra Bullock to Star in Netflix Thriller ‘Bird Box’

18 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Netflix has landed the post-apocalyptic thriller “Bird Box,” and attached Sandra Bullock to star, sources tell Variety.

Susanne Bier is directing from a script by “Arrival” scribe Eric Heisserer.

The story follows a woman and a pair of children who are blindfolded, and make their way through a post-apocalyptic setting along a river. Dylan Clark is producing with Chris Morgan and Clayton Townsend. The film was developed by Scott Stuber at Universal, before he moved to Netflix to head its feature film division.

When Stuber left Universal, the movie became one of the first films he wanted to bring over to add to Netflix’s ever-growing slate, which already includes the upcoming supernatural thriller “Bright” starring Will Smith and “Outlaw King” starring Chris Pine.

Production on the film is expected to start this fall.

Bullock recently wrapped production on “Ocean’s Eight” and was most recently seen in “Our Brand is Crisis.” Bier »


- Justin Kroll

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Matt Lauria and Cristina Rodlo Join Gina Rodriguez in ‘Miss Bala’ Remake (Exclusive)

18 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Kingdom” star Matt Lauria and newcomer Cristina Rodlo have joined the cast of Sony’s “Miss Bala” remake starring Gina Rodriguez, sources have told Variety.

Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer is on board to adapt the script, which was written by original director Gerardo Naranjo and Mauricio Katz.

Producers of the female-driven action thriller are Kevin Misher and Pablo Cruz with executive producer Andy Berman.

Based on the 2011 Oscar-nominated pic, the story follows a woman who, after her friend goes missing in Tijuana, finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game being played by the CIA, the DEA, and a charismatic young crime boss.

Lauria is best known for his roles on shows like “Friday Night Lights” and “Parenthood” and can currently be seen on the Audience drama “Kingdom,” where he plays the Mma fighter and ex-con Ryan. The show is in its final season and Lauria is now looking to make the jump into feature films after a strong »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Director Jon Watts in Talks for Sequel

20 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Jon Watts seems to have found a new home at Sony and Marvel.

The studios are in talks with the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” director to return for the sequel to the hit film, which has already grossed $472.8 million worldwide.

The second installment, which will again star Tom Holland, will hit theaters on July 5, 2019.

More to come. »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Natalie Portman’s Drama ‘Planetarium’ Lands Release Date (Exclusive)

20 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Natalie Portman’s period drama “Planetarium” has been set for an Aug. 11 release in select U.S. theaters, Variety has learned exclusively.

Planetarium,” which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, is written and directed by Rebecca Zlotowski. The film is set in Paris during the late 1930s.

Portman and Lily-Rose Depp portray sisters who are believed to possess the supernatural ability to connect with ghosts. They meet a French producer (played by Emmanuel Salinger) who is fascinated by their supernatural gift and hires them to shoot an ambitious experimental film that soon spirals into a game of hidden agendas.

Zlotowski’s credits include “Belle Epine,” which won the Prix Louis Delluc and critics’ award for best first feature film when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week section in 2010, and “Grand Central,” which won the François Chalais Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

“I had been wanting to work with Rebecca Zlotowski »


- Dave McNary

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Red West, Actor, Songwriter and Longtime Elvis Presley Confidant, Dies at 81

11 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - TV News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - TV News news »

Red West, a boyhood friend and member of Elvis Presley's "Memphis Mafia" who appeared in many of the singer's movies as well as in Road House, Black Sheep Squadron and Goodbye Solo, has died. He was 81.

West died Tuesday at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis after suffering an aortic aneurysm, his wife, Pat, told The Commercial Appeal newspaper.

West appeared as a stuntman/actor on dozens of episodes of CBS' futuristic Western series The Wild Wild West in the 1960s and a decade later had a regular role as Sgt. Andy Micklin on another Robert Conrad-starrer, NBC's Black »


- Mike Barnes

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Wild Bunch inks Us deal for Cannes title '12 Days'

54 minutes ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Documentary capturing French psychiatric system premiered at Cannes.

Distrib Films Us has acquired Us rights to Raymond Depardon’s documentary 12 Days (12 Jours), capturing the stories of vulnerable psychiatric patients hospitalised against their will through the special court-room hearings deciding their fate.

The company’s founding co-chief François Scippa-Kohn did the deal with Eva Diederix, head of sales at Wild Bunch which is handling international sales. The film is being lined up for an autumn release.

Under a new French law introduced in 2011, any hospital admitting a person against their consent has 12 days to submit a detention application to a special judge. Before the introduction of the law psychiatrists handled the decision.

Some 90,000 French citizens are sectioned in this way every year. Veteran French photographer and filmmaker Depardon filmed 72 such hearings, focusing on 10 of the cases he witnessed for the documentary.

12 Days premiered in a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival this year to strong reviews »


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The Snowman: serious film by serious people – or least spooky serial killer thriller ever?

1 hour ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The trailer suggests Michael Fassbender’s Jo Nesbø adaptation is a high-tension, dread-laden thriller with one problem: it’s full of snowmen

The Snowman, which is due for release in October, absolutely drips with pedigree. It’s based on a Jo Nesbø thriller about a serial killer with a disturbingly unique calling card: he leaves snowmen next to his victims. Originally due to be directed by Martin Scorsese, it’s a movie from film-maker Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) that stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Jk Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Toby Jones, with a score composed by Jonny Greenwood. The message is clear: this is a serious film made by serious people. As its new trailer demonstrates, The Snowman is intended to be taken very seriously indeed.

That said, it’s got loads of snowmen in it. Loads of them. Which is a risk, »

- Stuart Heritage

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Antalya Film Festival appoints Mike Downey as artistic director

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Producer Downey will curate new international competition strand.

The International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey has appointed Mike Downey as its new artistic director ahead of its 54th edition (which runs 21-27 October).

Downey (pictured) is an independent European film producer who has made more than 60 films, including Return To Montauk starring Stellan Skarsgård and recent Karlovy Vary title Dede.

Mirsad Purivatra, festival director of the Sarajevo Film Festival, also joins the Antalya team as a strategic consultant.

The festival will feature an international competition strand for the first time, which will be curated by Downey.

Once again, the event will support the Antalya Film Forum which connects film professionals in Turkey. It will be directed by Zeynep Atakan, producer of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme D’or winning film Winter Sleep.

It will also feature gala screenings, a children and family section, a culinary section featuring four films on gastronomy and a retrospectives profiling films from two »


- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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'Game Of Thrones' creators reveal details about next series

1 hour ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

HBO announces Us series Confederate from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have revealed that their next series will be HBO drama Confederate, an alternative history story chronicling the events leading up to Third American Civil War.

The series will chart a world in which the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution.

The story is set to follow a broad collection of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone — freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.

The series will be written and created by Benioff and Weiss, who will also serve as showrunners on the series.

Partnering with them as executive producers and writers will be Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife) and [link=nm »


- andreas.wiseman@screendaily.com (Andreas Wiseman)

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Film Review: ‘Mon Mon Mon Monsters’

1 hour ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

All the monsters are in plain sight in “Mon Mon Mon Monsters,” a savagely funny social horror movie about high school teens who capture a flesh-eating ghoul and torture it for their own amusement — and then some. The highly imaginative brainchild of popular Taiwanese author and filmmaker Giddens Ko, “Monsters” paints a disturbing picture of contemporary youth culture while delivering gruesome sights that’ll have horror hounds howling in approval. Though slim in analyzing of what has driven these kids to such extremes, Ko’s vividly decorated and atmospherically filmed exercise in nihilistic horror is a mighty fine ride for those who like this sort of thing. Opening in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore on July 28, the film already has several international fest dates planned, which bodes well for commercial prospects outside the region.

Admirers of Ko’s 2011 debut, a delightful romantic comedy called “You Are the Apple of My Eye,” may »


- Richard Kuipers

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Locarno: Swiss Dominik Locher’s ‘Goliath’ Scooped Up by Wide Management (Exclusive)

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Driving into new talent, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based Wide Management has swooped on world sales rights to Dominik Locher’s “Goliath,” the only majority-Swiss film in main competition at this year’s Locarno, Switzerland’s biggest film festival.

Deal excludes Switzerland and is non-exclusive for Germany.

World premiering at Locarno, where Wide, a fixture at the Swiss Festival, will introduce the title to buyers, “Goliath” turns on David (Sven Schelker), a twentysomething who breaks out in panic when girlfriend Jessy (Jasna Fritzi Bauer) tells him that she’s pregnant.

When both are assaulted in a city train and David fails to protect Jessy, his fears of inadequacy as a man take hold, according to the film’s synopsis. Frantic, David inject steroids, work out at the gym, builds his body, self confidence but soon tendency to violence. For Jessy and the unborn child, he becomes a threat.

“After a physical shakedown my insecure protagonist struggles to find »


- John Hopewell and Emiliano Granada

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Film Movement Checks Into ‘Hotel Salvation’ (Exclusive)

2 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

New York-based independent distributor, Film Movement has secured U.S. and Canadian rights for Indian festival title “Hotel Salvation.” Written and directed by Shubhashish Bhutiani, the Hindi-language film follows a son faced with his father’s untimely demand to go and die in the holy city of Varanasi and attain salvation. It stars Adil Hussain (“Life of Pi”), Lalit Behl (“Titli”), Geetanjali Kulkarni (“Court”), and Palomi Ghosh.

Sajida Sharma and Sanjay Bhutiani produced for India’s Red Carpet Moving Pictures with a $165,000 (€150,000) grant from Venice’s Biennale College and a post-production package worth $56,000 from Busan’s Asian Cinema Fund. The completed film premiered at Venice in 2016, where it won the Grand Prix Enrico Fulchignoni and the Unesco Gandhi Medal.

The film has sold widely in other territories it was licensed by the British Film Institute for the U.K. and Ireland, the Dubai International Film Festival for the Middle East, Bitters End for Japan, »


- Naman Ramachandran

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BBC warns of talent pay inflation

2 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Corporation says it could lose stars to ITV, Sky, Netflix and Amazon.

The BBC has warned that the forced disclosure of star salaries will have a widespread inflationary impact on top-tier talent pay (reports Broadcast).

Director general Tony Hall said that revealing the pay for inhouse, on-screen talent earning more than £150,000 could result in the corporation losing stars to commercial rivals such as ITV, Sky, Netflix and Amazon.

Read more:

Highest paid actors at the BBC revealed

Poachers’ charter

He branded the measure, insisted on by the government as part of the BBC’s charter renewal process, a “poacher’s charter”. “We’ve always said that giving names could be inflationary and in the end it will drive up salaries by setting benchmarks and raising expectations,” said Hall. “It’s pushing wages up at a time when we’re bringing down costs, and undermining the competitiveness of the BBC.”

However, Hall said the »


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Monster Island review – forgettable family animation

2 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This ploddingly mediocre knockoff about a boy with a monstrous genetic secret is visually uninspired and not much to listen to

However discontented we all might conceivably be with the current state of Hollywood animation, and various iffy threequels for Cars and Despicable Me, it’s still dispiriting to encounter this ploddingly mediocre knockoff, with its budget effects, utterly uninspired visual design and flatlining dialogue. 

A lonely kid at school is getting bullied and his overprotective dad won’t let him go anywhere without his inhaler. But the reason is that overexcitement could bring on, not an asthmatic attack, but an awful metamorphosis. The boy’s genetic secret is that he is a monster, like his dad. So he will have to journey to his mythic homeland, Monster Island, to confront his destiny. 

Continue reading »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Marketing companies Intermission, Think Jam make first joint exec hire

3 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Former Substance marketing director Andrew Timms appointed.

Marketing agency Think Jam and video content specialists Intermission have announced their first joint executive hire, with Andrew Timms appointed as executive producer.

The role will see Timms, who has 15 years experience in digital marketing, work with both teams to ensure delivery of video content for clients.

Timms starting at Icon Film Distribution before moving to Substance Global in 2004, where he worked for 11 years, becoming a board member. Their campaigns included those for Avatar, Inception and The Lego Movie.

His new role starts 24 July and he will be based at both Intermission and Think Jam’s London offices, working across all clients.

Screen announced in February that Think Jam and Intermission joined forces through an equity partnership that saw both company’s take a stake in each other.

London, Birmingham, and La-based Think Jam specialises in digital campaigns for big name clients. The agency »


- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Marketing companies Think Jam, Intermission make first joint exec hire

3 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Former Substance marketing director Andrew Timms appointed.

Marketing agency Think Jam and video content specialists Intermission have announced their first joint executive hire, with Andrew Timms appointed as executive producer.

The role will see Timms, who has 15 years experience in digital marketing, work with both teams to ensure delivery of video content for clients.

Timms starting at Icon Film Distribution before moving to Substance Global in 2004, where he worked for 11 years, becoming a board member. Their campaigns included those for Avatar, Inception and The Lego Movie.

His new role starts 24 July and he will be based at both Intermission and Think Jam’s London offices, working across all clients.

Screen announced in February that Think Jam and Intermission joined forces with an equity partnership that saw see both company’s take a stake in each other.

London, Birmingham, and La-based Think Jam specialises in digital campaigns for big name clients. The agency »


- orlando.parfitt@screendaily.com (Orlando Parfitt)

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Film Review: ‘The Gracefield Incident’

4 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Though the original “Blair Witch Project” will be coming up on its 20th anniversary soon enough (and “Paranormal Activity” just celebrated its 10th), its curse is still very much with us — that being the curse of the found-footage horror movie, which for every revivifying new example still brings us half a dozen or more films like “The Gracefield Incident,” which recycle genre cliches through an exhausted gimmick deployed strictly for cost-cutting rather than imaginative reasons. There are some unintentional laughs to be had from this hectic, silly, defiantly un-scary mashup of stock “cabin in the woods” and alien-invasion formulae. But that dubious plus won’t be enough to soften the scorn of horror fans who plunk down hard cash for this feeble, somewhat amateurish if enthusiastic retread.

Video-game editor Matthew (producer, writer, director, editor and star Mathieu Ratthe) is driving along with pregnant wife Jessica (Kimberly Laferriere) when they suffer a collision — seemingly due to their oblivious »


- Dennis Harvey

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Memento Films International’s Artscope Boards Ilian Metev’s Locarno-Bound ‘3/4’ (Exclusive)

6 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Artscope, Paris-based Memento Films Intl.’s label for new talent, has boarded Ilian Metev’s eagerly-awaited “3/4,” his follow-up to “Sofia’s Last Ambulance,” which won the France 4 Visionary Award at the 2012 Cannes Critics’ Week.

Set to world premiere early August in the Locarno Cineasts of the Present, the Swiss festival’s more cutting-edge section for younger directors, “3/4” marks Metev’s move into fiction –  though it is said to still very much rooted in the observational documentary approach used winningly in “Sofia’s Last Ambulance.”

Written by Metev and Betina Ip, his editor on “Sofia’s Last Ambulance” and partner at Bulgaria’s Chaconna Films, “3/4”stars an ensemble of non-professional actors, led by Mila Mihova, Nikolay Mashalov and Todor Velchev, who took part in a year-long workshops to create “3/4’s” portrait of a family spending its last summer together.

In “3/4,” Mila, a young pianist, prepares for an audition abroad. Her brother, Niki, »


- John Hopewell

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The keg party's over: why gross-out comedies are going down the pan

6 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and the rest ruled comedy for more than a decade. But everyone’s wisecracking now – from Marvel heroes to current affairs anchors – and the gross-out gags are wearing thin

Before it landed in cinemas last month, the smart money would have been on gambling farce The House as a hit. All the elements of recent comedy successes were there: a zany premise (parents try to pay off their daughter’s tuition fees by opening an illegal casino in their friend’s living room); two well-liked leads in Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler; a ribald, outrageous tone; and some appealingly anarchic set-pieces – who could resist the prospect of watching Jeremy Renner being rolled up in a carpet and set alight?

But resist it audiences did. Most cinemagoers opted instead for the speed-demon thrills of Baby Driver or the unstoppable might of Wonder Woman. On its opening weekend »

- Gwilym Mumford

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Esai Morales Urges ‘No’ Vote on SAG-aftra Contract

7 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

SAG-aftra Presidential candidate Esai Morales has urged members of the performers union to vote down the proposed tentative agreement on a three-year successor deal to its master contract.

Morales contends that the pact, which has been sent out to the 160,000 members for ratification, falls far short of what performers need. Ratification ballots will be counted on Aug. 7.

“The nominal gains in this agreement do not match the cost of living increases in the real world,” Morales said in a video posted Wednesday on the Facebook page of the Membership First faction. “Send them back to the table.”

Morales detailed problems with changes in the travel costs, basic cable, motion-capture and background players asserting that SAG-aftra leaders had promised to rectify perceived abuses and have failed to do so.

He also questioned why the union leadership reached a deal at 6 a.m. on July 4, asserting that fatigue may have played a factor in making concessions in the tentative »


- Dave McNary

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