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Netflix Rounds Out Cast for Ben Stiller-Produced ‘Eggplant Emoji’

2 hours ago

Daniel Doheny, Luke Spencer Roberts, Eduardo Franco, and Sadie Calvano have joined the cast of the Netflix comedy “Eggplant Emoji.”

They join Geraldine Viswanathan, who is in negotiations to star.

Netflix landed the spec by Kevin Burrows and Matt Mider following a bidding war earlier this year.

Related

Netflix Comedy ‘Eggplant Emoji’ to Star Geraldine Viswanathan (Exclusive)

Ben Stiller and Nicky Weinstock will produce the dark comedy via their Red Hour Films banner. Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm, and Kyle Newacheck, the creators and stars of the Comedy Central show “Workaholics,” are also on board to produce.

In the vein of “Superbad,” the plot follows a teenager who accidentally cuts off his penis during a camping trip. He and his friends rush to save the appendage before it’s too late.

Doheny just wrapped production on the Netflix pic “Alex Strangelove” while Roberts was most recently seen in “Fear the Walking Dead.” Franco »


- Justin Kroll

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Film Review: ‘A Taxi Driver’

6 hours ago

Revisiting the 1980 Gwangju Massacre, a landmark historical event in South Korea’s march towards democracy, director Jang Hoon brings a sappy, feel-good touch to a tragic subject by focusing on the bond between a German reporter (Thomas Kretschmann) and the taxi driver (Song Kang-ho) who helped him get the news out to the world.

Jang, who’s established himself as a hit-maker with features like “Secret Reunion” (also starring Song) and “The Front Line,” again worked B.O. miracles, earning the third highest domestic opening score of all time with “A Taxi Driver.” While the film clearly taps into the national zeitgeist, buoyed by a sweeping show of people’s power that ousted the president, international audiences should also appreciate the actors’ feisty turns. (It opened in the U.S. on Aug. 11.)

“A Taxi Driver” is the first major production to tackle the Gwangju Uprising head-on since the 2007 blockbuster “May 18.” Having less pretensions to epic grandeur than »


- Maggie Lee

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‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Set for September Release in China

7 hours ago

War for the Planet of the Apes” is set to get a theatrical release in mainland China in mid-September. Rights-holder 20th Century Fox confirmed that the film will open in Chinese theaters on Sept. 15.

The date is some two months after its North American outing, and about three weeks after the end of China’s unofficial summer blackout period in which Hollywood import titles cannot be given new releases.

That break comes to an end with the Aug. 25 release of “Cars 3,” “Baby Driver” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” Christopher Nolan’s war drama “Dunkirk” follows on Sept 1. And “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is set for Sept. 8.

Previous installments of the “Apes” franchise garnered good results in China. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” grossed $30.8 million in October 2011. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” earned $107 million in September 2014.

Related storiesJapan Box Office: 'Spider-Man' and 'Despicable Me 3' Share WeekendKorea Box Office: 'Taxi Driver' »


- Patrick Frater

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Daniel Craig Confirms He Will Return as James Bond

10 hours ago

Daniel Craig has made it official: He’ll be returning for another movie as James Bond.

Craig confirmed the news that had been widely expected during his appearance on Tuesday’s edition of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Colbert pressed Craig about his quote, when he joked that he would “rather break this glass and slash my wrists” than return to the role. Craig said he gave that interview two days after “Spectre” finished shooting, when he was still exhausted.

“Instead of saying something with style and grace, I said something really stupid,” he said.

Tonight: Daniel Craig makes an announcement that will leave you shaken, not stirred. #JamesBond #Lssc pic.twitter.com/gaSgVs3LkN

The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) August 16, 2017

Craig also said that his fifth Bond pic would be his last.

“I think this is it. I just want to go out on a high note,” he added. “I can’t wait. »


- Variety Staff

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Film Review: The Morrissey Biopic ‘England Is Mine’

12 hours ago

England Is Mine” is a biopic about the early days of Morrissey, the lead singer of the Smiths, that features two minutes of Morrissey singing and 97 minutes of Morrissey moping. There are Morrissey fans who would swear that makes it one of the most accurate biopics ever made. Yet even for some of us who are Smiths believers, the movie is a bit much. At certain points in the middle of it, you may think “I’m miserable now,” though not in the way that Morrissey had in mind.

In the ’80s, everyone loved to talk about how Morrissey was the most sensitive and misunderstood guy on the planet. He had quite an image: exquisitely depressed, a swooning (but celibate!) gay vegetarian wallflower, awash in the poetic romance of self-pity. I was shocked when I finally saw him onstage, because he was every inch a rock star — like a statue by Michelangelo who swayed, his »


- Owen Gleiberman

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SAG-aftra Presidential Candidate Pete Antico Blasts Union Leaders Following ‘Deadpool 2’ Stunt Death

13 hours ago

SAG-aftra presidential candidate and veteran stuntman Pete Antico has blasted union leadership for failure to provide protection to the stunt community.

Antico issued a blistering statement to Variety on Tuesday, a day after the death of stuntwoman Joi “Sj” Harris on the set of “Deadpool 2” and a month after John Bernecker’s death on “The Walking Dead” set. Antico said both deaths are tragic.

“The stunt coordinators on those sets have vast experience tenure and are at the top of their game,” he said. “We have not received much information regarding the details of the incidents; however, I do know that the stunt community is not protected in our collective bargaining agreement and has not been for years. There are no qualifications for a stunt coordinator in our collective bargaining agreement. There never was. That is unconscionable. A producer can hire anyone who says they are a coordinator and most of the time you get what »


- Dave McNary

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Locarno Film Review: ‘3/4’

14 hours ago

At once both cerebral and light as a feather, Ilian Metev’s feature debut “3/4” is a delicate family study that feels more indebted to modest, stripped down reveries from Asia (Hong Sang-soo comes to mind, without the alcohol) than anything in Bulgaria’s recent output. Having made a splash on the festival circuit in 2012 with his documentary “Sofia’s Last Ambulance,” the talented director and his collaborator Betina Ip turn to fiction filmed with realism, avoiding grand drama for more measured insight that captures a summer of change for a father and his two children. Made with non-professional actors and a lightweight camera to further the feel of verisimilitude, “3/4” will have some viewers apathetically shrugging their shoulders while many art-house habitués happily soak up the movie’s gentle rhythms. The top prize in Locarno’s Cinema of the Present section should help the film’s profile.

Metev isn’t interested in disquisition: He plunges us directly into »


- Jay Weissberg

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Cate Blanchett Joins Jack Black in Amblin’s ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’ (Exclusive)

14 hours ago

Cate Blanchett is in early talks to co-star with Jack Black in Amblin Entertainment and Mythology Entertainment’s “The House With a Clock in Its Walls,” an adaptation of the 1973 John Bellairs book illustrated by Edward Gorey.

Eli Roth is directing with Eric Kripke penning the script.

The novel tells the tale of a recently orphaned 10-year-old boy who discovers a world of hidden passageways, magic, and danger in his uncle’s old house.

Related

Amazon Buys Lucille Ball Biopic Starring Cate Blanchett

Brad Fischer and James Vanderbilt will produce with Kripke. The exec producers include William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, and Laeta Kalogridis.

If a deal closes, the film would give Blanchett another family-friendly feature with “Thor: Ragnarok” bowing this November. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the Oscar-winner explained that a large reason she was excited about her role in the Marvel movie was that her kids “happily dragged” her into the cinematic universe. “The House With a Clock in Its Walls »


- Justin Kroll

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Amazon Studios Developing ‘The Beast Is an Animal’ With Ridley Scott (Exclusive)

14 hours ago

Amazon Studios has launched development of a movie based on the dark science-fiction fantasy novel “The Beast Is an Animal” with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free producing.

Amazon is in final negotiations with the female directing team of Bert & Bertie to direct and the adapt the film from Peternelle van Arsdale’s book about a child who lives in a world fearful of soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly grew into something not quite human. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she realizes that she has a gift that she must keep secret, for fear they will call her a witch. »


- Dave McNary

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Locarno Film Review: ‘Those Who Are Fine’

15 hours ago

The benignly dull Switzerland of Harry Lime’s famous summation in “The Third Man” (“…brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock”) is nowhere to be found in Swiss director Cyril Schäublin’s clinically intelligent, laceratingly pessimistic feature debut. Envisioning the outskirts of Zurich as a gray, unpeopled dystopia of alienation and dissociation, “Those Who are Fine” may be set in the present, but its subtle uncanniness makes it feel like near-future sci-fi.

For such a tightly constructed work, the film, which received a Special Mention in the First Feature section in Locarno, starts deceptively loosely, with the story of a scam. Told as an anecdote by a court reporter chatting about her work day to some friends, the grift is a particularly heartless one: a young woman, in cahoots with a geriatric care nurse, has been targeting old women as senility begins to take hold, and »


- Jessica Kiang

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Lionsgate Plans South Korean Theme Park With Hunger Games, Twilight Areas

15 hours ago

Lionsgate is planning a South Korean theme park that will have areas devoted to its “Hunger Games,” “Twilight” and “Now You See Me” franchises along with its upcoming “Robin Hood” movie.

The studio is teaming with Landing Jeju Development Co. Ltd. to develop Lionsgate Movie World at Jeju Shinhwa World, Korea. The park, which will contain approximately 1.3 million square feet, will be Lionsgate’s first branded outdoor theme park.

The project will be developed into seven movie zones, each themed around a specific Lionsgate property, with visitors experiencing actual movie scenes through state-of-the-art rides, attractions and reproduced streets and towns. Each zone will also feature themed restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops and entertainment performances.

The companies said in a joint announcement Tuesday that Lionsgate Movie World at Jeju Shinhwa World is expected to commence construction in 2018 and is scheduled to open in 2019. The Lionsgate theme park will be the centerpiece of the Jeju Shinhwa World resort, which »


- Dave McNary

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AMC Slams MoviePass, Threatening Legal Action

16 hours ago

AMC Theatres is threatening legal action against MoviePass, a subscription-based service for cinema-goers, hours after the company announced it will allow customers to see a movie a day for less than $10 a month.

In a statement, the world’s largest exhibitor dismissed MoviePass as “a small fringe player” and said that its model “is not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theatres and movie studios.”

AMC’s stock has been hit hard in recent weeks after it released disappointing quarterly earnings and lowered its projections for 2017. The summer box office is in a slump and a stream of film flops have dragged down exhibition stocks. Shares of AMC took a beating again on Tuesday following MoviePass’ pricing announcement — the company’s stock ended the day down 2.57% at $13.25.

Related

What Is MoviePass? The Pros and Cons of $10-a-Month Unlimited Films

MoviePass didn’t just unveil a new pricing plan on Tuesday. It »


- Brent Lang

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Elvis Presley’s 10 Best Movies

16 hours ago

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death — well, Ok, his alleged death — we are keeping his spirit alive by looking back at the Top 10 movies that are part of his legacy.

Related storiesMy Pilgrimage to Elvis' Graceland -- and Why Every Music Fan Should GoElvis Presley's Most-Streamed Songs on YouTube, Pandora, Spotify, Apple MusicScreaming, Fainting, Unplugged Jukeboxes: How Memphis and the Media Reacted to Elvis Presley's Death »


- Joe Leydon

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Locarno Film Review: ‘Good Manners’

16 hours ago

Some genre films are enjoyable to watch but leave no trace in the brain’s synapses, whereas others dig deeper, playing with fantasy elements to address issues that matter in the real world, where mythical creatures (and superheroes for that matter) don’t exist. “Good Manners” falls into that latter category, thanks to the diligence shown by writer-directors Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, who use werewolf mythology to comment on class, difference and desire. Shrewder than their previous collaboration “Hard Labor,” a more heavy-handed parable on economic disparity, the duo’s new film is also more stylized, grounded in a 1940s and ’50s Hollywood aesthetic, yet updated for today. Although definitely overstretched at more than two hours, and not certain how to negotiate certain tonal shifts, “Manners” has much to recommend it, as recognized by Locarno’s Special Jury award. A lesbian subtheme means that specialty festivals besides genre ones will increase exposure, which »


- Jay Weissberg

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Jennifer Aniston to Star in Suburban Parenting Comedy for STX

16 hours ago

STXfilms is in talks with Jennifer Aniston to star in an untitled suburban parenting comedy with “My Blind Brother” director Sophie Goodhart attached to helm from her own script.

If the deal with Aniston goes through, she will portray half of an over-burdened suburban couple who decide to recapture the fun of their youth.

The project is set up at Safehouse Pictures with Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell producing. Matt Schwartz and Douglas Banker are executive producing.

Related

Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston Team Up to Star in TV Series

Safehouse teamed with Goodheart on “My Blind Brother,” which premiered last year at SXSW and starred Adam Scott and Nick Kroll as brothers competing for the same woman, played by Jenny Slate.

Stx is planning to make the film R-rated, hoping to tap into the same audience as it did last year with “Bad Moms,” which grossed $113 million domestically. Sam Brown is overseeing for Stx along with Safehouse »


- Dave McNary

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‘Hellboy’ Reboot Casts ‘American Honey’ Star Sasha Lane

16 hours ago

American Honey” star Sasha Lane has joined David Harbour in the Lionsgate-Millennium’s “Hellboy” reboot.

Harbour will star as the titular demonic hero, based on the Mike Mignola comic books. The film is titled “Hellboy: Rise of the Blood Queen.”

Lane will play the role of Alice Monaghan, who is rescued in the origin stories by Hellboy from the fairies that kidnapped her. Milla Jovovich and Ian McShane also are attached to star.

The Descent” director Neil Marshall is on board to helm. The new story sees Harbour’s hero squaring off against a sorceress who seeks to destroy humankind. The project will shoot in the U.K. and Bulgaria.

Larry Gordon and Lloyd Levin are producing along with Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Entertainment.

The previous two films starred Ron Perlman as the title character and scored at the box office, with the last one, “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” grossing $160 million worldwide. »


- Dave McNary

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What Is MoviePass? The Pros and Cons of $10-a-Month Unlimited Films

16 hours ago

Want to see a lot of movies in the theater for almost no money? You are not alone. MoviePass, for one, was caught off-guard by the groundswell of enthusiasm for the prospect on Tuesday when potential customers caused its website and app to crash, shortly after a new payment structure and owner was announced.

The deal, put simply, goes like this: For a $9.95 monthly fee, you have the option to see up to one movie in theaters per day, every day. We’ll cover the nitty-gritty below, but that’s the gist of the service.

The company, run by Netflix co-founder and former Redbox president Mitch Lowe, wants to be a major disrupter in the industry — think, well, Netflix. But since it was launched in 2011, the service hasn’t gained much traction and remains under-used. MoviePass is hoping this new deal changes that.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using MoviePass as told by »


- Seth Kelley

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Sanaa Lathan to Star in Netflix Adaptation of ‘Nappily Ever After’

17 hours ago

Shots Fired” star Sanaa Lathan is set to topline the Netflix film “Nappily Ever After,” an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name.

Haifaa Al-Mansour, who helmed the critically acclaimed “Wadjda,” is on board to direct with Marc Platt, Tracey Bing, Jared Leboff, and Lathan producing. The movie is a passion project for Bing, who produced “Southside With You” and brought the project to Netflix.

Benedict Carver, Vincent Cirrincione, and Mark Moran are exec producing.

Based on Trisha R. Thomas’ novel, the film follows a woman with a seemingly flawless life — a great job, a handsome boyfriend who’s a doctor, and a meticulously maintained coiffure. But after an accident at the hair salon, each of these things starts to unravel, and Violet begins to realize that she was living the life she thought she was supposed to live, not the one that she really wanted.

The original script was written by Tina Chism with »


- Justin Kroll

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Film News Roundup: ‘License to Drive’ Gets Female-Driven Film Reboot

19 hours ago

In today’s roundup, Fox is remaking its 1988 coming-of-age comedy “License to Drive,” Val Kilmer is starring in a new comedy, and Spirit Award nominations have opened. 

Film Development

Fox is rebooting the 1988 teen comedy “License to Drive,” which starred Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, and Heather Graham.

The studio has set up the project with Fox-based producer John Davis, who produced the original. The writing team of Alisha Brophy and Scott Miles have been tapped to script the female-centric remake.

The original film centered on Haim’s 16-year-old character who sneaks out to party with his girlfriend, played by Graham, and damages his grandfather’s 1972 Cadillac, after failing his driver’s license tests. The original was directed by Gregory Beerman and grossed $22.4 million at the box office.

Michael Ireland is overseeing “License to Drive” for the studio. The writers are repped by Paradigm, Circle of Confusion, and attorney Lev Ginsburg. The »


- Dave McNary

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Kaspar Munk’s Fantasy Film ‘Wildwitch’ Lands at TrustNordisk (Exclusive)

19 hours ago

TrustNordisk has boarded “Wildwitch,” Kaspar Munk’s (“You & Me Forever”) ambitious fantasy film based on Danish author Lene Kaaberbøl’s best-selling books.

Produced by Good Company Films, “Wildwitch” just started shooting in Hungary with Gerda Lie Kaas and Sonja Richter (“The Keeper of Lost Causes”) in the main roles.

“Wildwitch” will screen at the Norwegian International Film Festival in the New Nordic Films work in progress section.

Adapted from the best-selling novels by Bo Hr. Hansen and Poul Berg, “Wildwitch” follows a 12-year-old girl, Clara, who gets scratched by a mysterious black cat and discovers she can communicate with the feline. She soon realizes that she belongs to a family of witches with a strong connection to nature and animals.

The film is co-produced by Danish public broadcaster TV2, with Nevision in the U.K., Yellow Bird in Sweden, Cinenord Kidstory in Norway, and Proton in Hungary. Nordisk Film will release the movie in Scandinavia in October »


- Elsa Keslassy

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