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‘In the Heights’: Musical Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Joins Film Version in Small Role

‘In the Heights’: Musical Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Joins Film Version in Small Role
Powerhouse Lin-Manuel Miranda may not be returning to play the role he originated in his Broadway hit and Tony winner “In the Heights,” but he will be taking on a small role in director Jon M. Chu’s big screen treatment of the early aughts musical. On Friday, Miranda tweeted that he will be taking on the part of Piragüero, also known as “Piragua Guy,” in the upcoming film version of his first musical hit.

Piragüero is the owner of a piragua (a Puerto Rican shaved ice dessert) stand, and is trying to literally “scrap by” even when faced by the encroachment of heavy-hitter ice cream behemoth Mister Softee. When the show opened on Broadway in 2008, Miranda — who created the show and wrote its music and lyrics — played the lead role and narrator, Usnavi de la Vega, who will be played by Anthony Ramos in the film version.

The New
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"The Tick" Really Is Dead, Creator Confirms No New Network Stepped Up After Amazon Cancellation

  • The Wrap
Sad day for fans of “The Tick,” as series creator Ben Edlund announced on Twitter that the show won’t be brought back by a new network after Amazon’s cancellation.

“After much door-knocking we have found no new home for the Tick series in this current market,” Edlund tweeted on Friday “#SaveTheTick & #LunaTickArmy, I’m sorry we could not reward your glorious support with better news. I am so proud of the show, of the cast and crew and writers, and so warmed by the fans.”

“We will look for other opportunities to continue this story with this cast, but the current series must I’m afraid come to its end.”

Even in a pop culture landscape overloaded with superhero movies, tv shows, and streaming series, “The Tick” stood out as one of the most unapologetically
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Franco Zeffirelli, Oscar-Nominated Director for 'Romeo and Juliet,' Dies at 96

Franco Zeffirelli, Oscar-Nominated Director for 'Romeo and Juliet,' Dies at 96
Franco Zeffirelli, whose opulent set designs and sweeping directorial style bolstered operatic films, religious epics and Shakespearean love stories, has died. He was 96.

The Italian legend, who was nominated for an Academy Award for directing his innovative version of Romeo and Juliet (1968), died Saturday at his residence in Rome "without suffering," his son Pippo told The Hollywood Reporter. 

Romeo and Juliet, which starred then-unknown teenagers Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, also received a best picture nomination and garnered Academy Awards for cinematography and costume design, indicative of Zeffirelli's visual emphasis (he also penned the screenplay).

The ...
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‘Men In Black: International’ Taking in $26 Million Amid Franchise Fatigue

  • Variety
‘Men In Black: International’ Taking in $26 Million Amid Franchise Fatigue
North American moviegoers spurned sequels this weekend with Sony’s “Men in Black: International” heading for a modest $26 million debut while “Shaft” will finish with a dismal $7.3 million in seventh place.

Men in Black: International,” the fourth iteration of the sci-fi comedy franchise, is performing under expectations, which had been in the $30 million range at 4,224 locations. The three previous “Men In Black” films, starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, all scored North American debut weekends of more than $50 million in 1997, 2002 and 2012.

Men in Black: International” stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson as the black-suited agents dealing with a baffling series of alien attacks against Earth. Reviewers have been unimpressed, giving the film a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Should the Saturday morning estimates hold, “Men in Black: International” will have the lowest gross of a first-place title since the second weekend of “Shazam!” led the April 12-14 chart with $24.5 million.
See full article at Variety »

Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific "L.A.’s Finest" On-Set Accident

Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific
Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday.

They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below the knee as a result.

In February, a stunt car on the San Pedro, California set of the show struck a shipping container causing it to roll onto Sonnier and co-showrunner Brandon Margolis, who were watching the car stunt scene on a monitor in the video village.
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Dark Phoenix’ Director Simon Kinberg on Film’s Failures: ‘It Didn’t Connect Enough With Audiences’

‘Dark Phoenix’ Director Simon Kinberg on Film’s Failures: ‘It Didn’t Connect Enough With Audiences’
Simon Kinberg isn’t burying his head in the sand. After debuting his feature filmmaking debut, the critically savaged and drastically underperforming “Dark Phoenix” last week, Kinberg popped up on KCRW’s “The Business” (via EW) to open up about his perceived failures on the X-Men feature.

“It clearly is a movie that didn’t connect with audiences that didn’t see it, it didn’t connect enough with audiences that did see it. So that’s on me,” Kinberg said.

The film debuted last weekend during the crush of the summer movie-going season, where it pulled in only $33 million in domestic dollars, a far cry from the receipts of recent X-Men features like “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Logan.” With an estimated $200 million production cost (and that’s before marketing) and uninspiring foreign numbers, the film will likely go down as the franchise’s biggest bust ever.

And that’s to
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Bradley Cooper Circling Guillermo del Toro’s Next Film, ‘Nightmare Alley’

  • Variety
Bradley Cooper Circling Guillermo del Toro’s Next Film, ‘Nightmare Alley’
Bradley Cooper is in early talks to star in Guillermo del Toro and Fox Searchlight’s adaptation of “Nightmare Alley.”

Sources say Cooper recently received an offer and while it’s currently unclear if a deal will close, sources indicate both sides have engaged in talks. Cooper would take the place of Leonardo DiCaprio, who ended up passing on the project after a deal could not be reached.

Del Toro will direct the pic and co-wrote the script with Kim Morgan. “Nightmare Alley” is being produced and financed by del Toro and J. Miles Dale with Tsg Entertainment, with Fox Searchlight acquiring worldwide distribution rights to the film.

While Fox made a “Nightmare Alley” movie in 1947, this film will be based moreso on the William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name. The 1947 movie starred Tyrone Power as an ambitious young con-man who teams up with a female psychiatrist who
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‘Frozen II’ Plot Details Revealed as New Footage Debuts at Annecy

‘Frozen II’ Plot Details Revealed as New Footage Debuts at Annecy
While Frozen fans will have to be satisfied with the recent Frozen II trailer for the time being, lucky attendees of this year's Annecy International Animated Film Festival got an extra sneak peek at the highly anticipated sequel arriving this fall. Disney debuted the film's first footage and a look at key artwork, courtesy of head of animation Becky Bresee and head of effects Marlon West. The team also revealed that the story picks up three years after the ending of the first film, along with additional plot details. Though Frozen II is set to arrive in theaters …
See full article at Collider.com »

Macao Festival Signs Double Deals With Shanghai

The International Film Festival & Awards Macao on Sunday signed twin agreements with institutions in Shanghai.

The Iffam, which is building towards its fourth edition in December, struck a collaboration agreement with the Shanghai International Film Festival. Separately, it is solidifying an existing informal arrangement with the Shanghai Film Art Academy concerning an exchange of students — Macau film makers Tracy Choi and Harriet Wong are already participating in this year’s Shanghai’s Siff Next activities. Signatures were put to both pacts on stage in Shanghai.

At the same event, Peter Chan Ho-sun, a leading director from Hong Kong, who has increasingly made his career in mainland China, was named as president of Iffam’s 2019 jury. The judges will decide the winners of the festival’s competition for first and second films.

“The high quality of (Chan’s) Pan-Asian films has stimulated the development of the Asian film industry in general.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Shanghai: Wu Jing Unveils First Trailer for Everest Epic 'The Climbers'

Shanghai: Wu Jing Unveils First Trailer for Everest Epic 'The Climbers'
Chinese action hero Wu Jing and his fellow actors in the upcoming mountaineering adventure film The Climbers brought a big dose of star power to the Shanghai International Film Festival (Siff) on Sunday.

The actor, China's reigning box-office king thanks to mega-blockbusters Wolf Warrior 2 and The Wandering Earth, bounded to the stage at a packed gala hosted by Shanghai Film Group to unveil the first official trailer for his next action spectacle. (See the trailer below.)

Wu was accompanied at the event by the film's all-star production team and cast, including director Daniel Lee, producer Tsui Hark and actors Yi ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

'The Return' ('Fu Xiang Xin'): Film Review | Shanghai 2019

The sad fate of the veterans who fought in Chiang Kai-Shek’s army and who found themselves stranded in Taiwan after Mao’s victory in 1949, forever cut off from family and home, seems like a melancholy subject for a young director’s first film.

In The Return (Fu Xiang Xin), actress Qin Hailu, who starred in Fruit Chan’s Durian Durian, puts her heart into describing a handful of lonely, impoverished former soldiers who are in their eighties and basically waiting to die. Believable performances from veteran actor Chang Feng and a luminous Ge Lei (a.k.a. Grace Ko) sweeten ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild Takes Stand Against China Extradition Bill

The Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild has issued a statement to request the total withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill.

Addressed to Hong Kong legislator Ma Fung Kwok, who represents the functional constituency of sports, performing arts, culture and publication, the 17-word statement in Chinese simply and succinctly said, “[We] do not accept suspension of the extradition bill. Request complete withdrawal.”

The statement came on the heels of the Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam’s announcement in the afternoon the postponement of the bill.

The Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild is headed by An Autumn’s Tale helmer ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Shanghai: Peter Chan to Chair Macau Film Festival Jury

Shanghai: Peter Chan to Chair Macau Film Festival Jury
The International Film Festival & Awards Macau (Iffam) on Sunday said that veteran Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Chan (The Warlords, The Love Letter, Perhaps Love) will serve as chair of its jury this year.

Hong Kong actress Carina Lau (Detective Dee franchise, Bends) will serve as talent ambassador for the event in the casino enclave that is a Chinese special administrative region.

In addition, Indian director Karan Johar (Raazi), South Korean director Kim Yong-hwa (Take Off) and Chinese filmmaker Wang Xiaoshuai (Beijing Bicycle, Drifters) will serve as ambassadors for the festival.

Organizers unveiled the news during an event on the sidelines of the Shanghai ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Lavar Ball Says the Lakers Will Never Win Another Championship After Trading Lonzo (Video)

  • The Wrap
Lavar Ball had ominous words for the Los Angeles Lakers following the news that the team had traded his son, Lonzo, to the New Orleans Pelicans: no more rings.

Earlier Saturday, the Lakers reached a deal with the Pelicans to acquire center Anthony Davis with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart heading to New Orleans, and also agreeing to give the Pelicans three first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 selection in this year’s draft, which takes place next week in Brooklyn. Damn.

Caught on camera shortly after the news broke, Ball said e that “Lonzo works good with anybody so it’s not a big deal.” But then he did his best to slap a curse on the 16-time NBA champions. “I guarantee,” he said, “it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship. Guarantee it.”

Also
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Why Simon West Is Making Movies in China (Exclusive)

Why Simon West Is Making Movies in China (Exclusive)
British director Simon West is set to dive further into the Middle Kingdom at the helm of his second Chinese action-adventure blockbuster. The Wanda-backed “The Legend Hunters,” hits theaters next summer. West was brought onto the project by veteran producer Eryong, who had approached him about a project in China 12 years ago that later fell through.

“Legend Hunters” follows West’s first foray into the country, the upcoming volcano disaster flick “Skyfire.” West is currently in early stage discussions about two or three other potential Chinese projects that range from sci-fi to period pieces to his specialty, action-adventure, and says he’s in the midst of “negotiating the rights to some very big Chinese IP.” West spoke to Variety about the differences between working in Hollywood and China and his thoughts on the future of co-productions.

Why are you directing so many films abroad?

It’s just coincidence, really. I
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Daniel Craig, Still in a Leg Cast, Gets Back in the Gym for Return to ‘Bond 25’ Shoot (Photo)

  • The Wrap
Daniel Craig, Still in a Leg Cast, Gets Back in the Gym for Return to ‘Bond 25’ Shoot (Photo)
Like the MI6 agent he plays, Daniel Craig is hard at work training to get back to peak physical form, even after he had to stop filming “Bond 25” due to an ankle injury.

In a new behind the scenes photo posted on the James Bond Twitter account, the British star could be seen working out in the gym with his leg still in a cast.

Not pictured: the rest of us with perfectly healthy legs who need about 6 hours of “ok now I’m gonna do it” personal pep talks just to climb on an elliptical for 20 minutes.

Also Read: Drake Releases 2 New Songs After Toronto Raptors Win NBA Championship

Directed by Cory Fukunaga, the yet-to-be-named “Bond 25 ” is expected to be Craig’s fifth and final film as James Bond, ending a career that began in 2006 with the reboot film “Casino Royale.” Rami Malek, fresh off his “Bohemian Rhapsody” Oscar win,
See full article at The Wrap »

Chinese Research Group May Have Caused Cancellation of ‘The Eight Hundred’ Premiere

Chinese Research Group May Have Caused Cancellation of ‘The Eight Hundred’ Premiere
Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked the $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its opening-night premiere at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said.

Huayi Bros., which produced the film, had on Friday attributed the cancellation of the film’s Saturday evening premiere to “technical reasons.” That term has quickly become a euphemism for Chinese government interference.

But numerous Chinese-language reports speculate that the real cause might be gleaned from recent statements delivered by the China Red Culture Research Assn. The group of Communist Party-minded scholars and experts met in Beijing last Sunday and collectively deemed that “it would be very inappropriate to use ‘The Eight Hundred’ as a tribute to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China” this year, the group’s vice president,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Beautiful Voyage': Film Review | Shanghai 2019

'Beautiful Voyage': Film Review | Shanghai 2019
It will take a dedicated fan of romance novels to succumb to the schmaltz of Beautiful Voyage, a step back for director Zhang Jiarui (Distant Thunder, White Wedding). The fact that he covered four major roles on the film – producer, director, screenwriter and editor – is probably an indication that more help, particularly in the editing department, might have eliminated some awkwardness in the storytelling. As is, it looked mighty frail as the opening night film of the Shanghai International Film Festival, a responsibility it had to cover single-handedly when the advertised “double bill” with its co-opening nighter The ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie ‘Legend Hunters’ (Exclusive)

Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie ‘Legend Hunters’ (Exclusive)
British director Simon West, who made the Angelina Jolie-starring “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is now co-directing a Chinese tomb-raiding film.

“The Legend Hunters” is the next installment in the “Mojin” universe, based on the popular fantasy novel series “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” Backed by Wanda Pictures and Beijing-based Saints Entertainment, the film is set for release next July and stars A-list male leads Zhang Hanyu and Jiang Wu and Hong Kong actress Celina Jade, who crossed to the big time in “Wolf Warrior 2.”

It is produced by industry veteran Zhang Wang, who also goes by the name Eryong. Currently halfway through shooting at the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, it expects to wrap in Russia in mid-August.

Screenwriter Li Yifan co-directs alongside West, helping to ground the film in a Chinese sensibility. The film references elements from ancient Chinese shamanic funeral traditions, and “we were worried it’d
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sydney Film Review: ‘Emu Runner’

Writer-director Imogen Thomas’ debut feature “Emu Runner” has and probably will play in designated family-themed strands of film festivals, and given its story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal girl who deals with grief in the wake of her mother’s death by bonding with a lone female representative of Australia’s largest native bird species, this programming strategy is to be expected. Yet adult audiences who bypass this serene and finely-detailed coming-of-age tale do so at their own risk, as Thomas has made a deep, rich meditation on family, community, country and racial tensions that strides well beyond its girl-meets-bird logline. Flightless the Dromaius novaehollandiae may be, but “Emu Runner” soars.

In the isolated New South Wales town of Brewarinna, some 500 miles northwest of Sydney, 8-year-old Ngemba girl Gemma lives with her parents Jay Jay, who hauls trash for a living, and Darlene (Maurial Spearim), as well as older brother Ecka
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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