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‘Bang! The Bert Berns Story’ Doc Headed to Apple Music

57 minutes ago

Bang! The Bert Berns Story,” the documentary about “Twist and Shout” songwriter, producer and label pioneer Bert Berns and the music industry’s early entanglements with the mob, is headed to Apple Music in the fall. Brett Berns, the director and Bert Berns’ son, credits the platform with having “always been fair to the artist,” in announcing the exclusive pick-up.

Narrated by longtime Bruce Springsteen guitarist and “Sopranos” star and Steven Van Zandt, “Bang!” explores Berns’ close relationships with New York City wiseguys Carmine “Wassel” DeNoia and Tommy Eboli. The film features Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, and many more.

Related

Apple Music Hits 27 Million Subscribers

As Variety wrote in April, “It was a long time coming, but after a book, a musical, and a 2016 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the story of Bert Berns — genius songwriter, skilled producer and record label honcho — was a documentary that »


- Shirley Halperin

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‘The Beguiled’ Cast and Crew Participate in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s #Ham4All Challenge

1 hour ago

The cast and crew of Cannes film “The Beguiled” taped their own rendition of “Hamilton” song “The Schuyler Sisters,” carried predominantly by the film’s youngest cast members, as part of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s #Ham4All fundraising challenge.

The video features Emma Howard, Addison Riecke, and Angourie Rice as the three Schuyler sisters, with Oona Laurence taking on Aaron Burr, a role originated in the first production by Leslie Odom, Jr. Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, and director Sofia Coppola also make cameos, along with several members of the crew.

Related

Lin-Manuel Miranda Unveils ‘Immigrants’ Video for ‘Hamilton Mixtape’ Featuring Riz Ahmed, Daveed Diggs (Watch)

Filming for the challenge took place principally on the set of “The Beguiled,” although bits and pieces also took place offset, such as an intro portion that appears to be Laurence’s home. Howard also included a challenge to Ellen DeGeneres to participate.

The »


- Erin Nyren

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Beau Willimon Running Unopposed for WGA East Presidency

1 hour ago

House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon is running unopposed for the presidency of the Writers Guild of America East to succeed Michael Winship, who has opted not to run.

Willimon and five other incumbents won re-election to two-year terms for council seats last year. He was on the negotiating committee that reached an 11th hour deal with production companies on May 1.

“Should I be re-elected to Council, I plan to be very involved in the negotiating process,” he said last year. “Having worked for almost a decade with major film studios and having been at the forefront of launching streaming television, I have a unique on-the-ground perspective that I believe will be useful voice in making sure we remain strong as a union moving forward.”

Related

Inside the WGA-AMPTP Negotiating Room: Speeches, Strategies and Social Media That Averted a Strike

Incumbent Vice President Jeremy Pikser and Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider are also running unopposed.

The »


- Dave McNary

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Michelle Rodriguez Threatens to Leave ‘Fast and Furious’ Franchise if it Doesn’t ‘Show Some Love to Women’

1 hour ago

Michelle Rodriguez is, fittingly, furious with “The Fast and the Furious” franchise for not giving enough opportunities to women.

The actress threatened to leave behind her role as Letty Ortiz, the wife of Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto, if the series continues to limit its female roles.

“F8 is out digitally today,” she captioned her Instagram photo. “I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one. Or I just might have to say goodbye to a loved franchise. It’s been a good ride & I’m grateful for the opportunity the fans & studio have provided over the years.”

Rodriguez, who has portrayed Letty in five of the eight installments, has previously pointed out that she’s had limited dialogue along with actress Jordana Brewster, who plays the sister of Dom, and other women who have joined the series.

Related

‘Fate of the Furious’ Crosses $1 Billion Milestone at International »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Film Review: ‘Dawson City: Frozen Time’

1 hour ago

When you see home-movie footage from, say, the 1940s, the images look old, but the people in them appear, more or less, to inhabit the same universe that we do. But when you see documentary footage from the late 19th century, it has an entirely different, slightly spooky not-of-this-world quality. Is it because of the primitive scratchy images? The more archaic visual-recording technology? No, it’s because the people in the images lack even a hint of the awareness of image-making technology. They have no media in their souls, and that marks them as pre-modern spirits.

Dawson City: Frozen Time” is a one-of-a-kind curio of a movie that captures, through a collage of photographs, silent documentary footage, and pre-talkie Hollywood film, the story of a Canadian mining town from the 1890s up through the early decades of the 20th century. But it’s really telling the story of the birth of the modern age, and »


- Owen Gleiberman

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‘Bad Moms Christmas’ Trailer: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell Stress Out (Watch)

3 hours ago

Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell return as under-appreciated and overburdened women in the first trailer for Stx’s “A Bad Moms Christmas.”

The trailer launches to the strains of Andy Williams’s song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and then portrays the trio attempting to deal with the holiday frenzy.

“I feel like a giant stress ball,” muses Kunis as she grabs a beer with her female buddies at a shopping mall that’s dominated by holiday decorations and music. “Remember when the holidays were fun?”

Related

Film Review: ‘Bad Moms

Adding exponentially more anxiety to the holiday are Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski and Cheryl Hines as the mothers of the bad moms — who all seem to have arrived without prior notice to their daughters. Baranski portrays the mother of Kunis’ Amy character; Hines is Bell’s mom and Sarandon is Hahn’s mother.

When »


- Dave McNary

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Kenneth Lonergan to Receive Austin Film Festival Honor

3 hours ago

The Austin Film Festival and Writers Conference has selected Kenneth Lonergan for its Distinguished Screenwriter award.

Lonergan, who won the Academy Award for best original screenplay for “Manchester by the Sea,” will be recognized at the 2017 awards luncheon on Oct. 28, and will participate in festival and conference programming. Past screenwriter honorees include Nancy Meyers, Eric Roth, and Steven Zaillian.

Lonergan also received an Oscar nomination for directing “Manchester by the Sea.” He won the BAFTA award and the National Board of Review awards for best original screenplay.

He was also nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplays for “Gangs of New York” and “You Can Count On Me.” His other screenplay credits include “Margaret,” “Analyze This” and “Analyze That.”

As a playwright, Lonergan authored “This Is Our Youth,” “The Waverly Gallery,” “Lobby Hero,” “The Starry Messenger,” “Medieval Play” and “Hold On To Me Darling.”

The Austin Film Festival also revealed new panelists confirmed to speak »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Baby Driver’ Races to $2.1 Million in Tuesday Night Previews

4 hours ago

Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” sped to $2.1 million at 2,606 North American locations in Tuesday night previews.

Sony’s R-rated action-thriller, starring Ansel Elgort as a getaway car driver, expands to 3,150 sites Wednesday to get a head start on the Independence Day weekend. The studio is projecting an opening in the $13 million to $15 million range for the five-day Wednesday-Sunday period, while other projections have been in the $20 million area.

Baby Driver,” released from Sony’s TriStar Pictures and MRC, has received strong critical support since its South by Southwest premiere in March and has a 98% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. »


- Dave McNary

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Gay Thriller ‘B&B’ Scheduled for Fall Release by Breaking Glass (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

Breaking Glass Pictures has acquired North American rights to Joe Ahearne’s thriller “B&B” from Hummingbird Films, Variety has learned exclusively.

The film stars Tom Bateman, Paul McGann, Sean Teale, Callum Woodhouse, and James Tratas. “B&B” plans a limited theatrical release followed by a DVD/VOD release in October.

“B&B” held its world premiere at the London Independent Film Festival where it won Best Lgbt Feature. The North American premiere was at the MiFo Lgbt Film Festival, followed by the Out Film Ct Festival. “B&B” will play the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in August.

The story centers on two men who are refused a double bed at a remote Christian guest house, then win their court case and return to claim their conjugal rights. When a Russian neo-Nazi checks in, their weekend of fun becomes a bloody battle for survival.

“B&B” is produced by Hummingbird Films and was backed by Creative England »


- Dave McNary

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Hugh Jackman Invents Show Business in ‘The Greatest Showman’ First Trailer (Watch)

5 hours ago

“I can’t just run off and join the circus,” Zac Efron tells Hugh Jackman in the first trailer for the upcoming P. T. Barnum biopic, “The Greatest Showman.”

“Why not? You clearly have a flair for show business,” Jackman, who plays Barnum, responds.

“For … show business? I’ve never heard of it,” Efron replies, to which Jackman smiles and says, “Because I just invented it.”

The upcoming original musical from 20th Century Fox also stars Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya, and includes original music from “La La Land” and “Dear Evan Hanson” duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Michael Gracey directed the movie from a screenplay by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon.

The trailer begins with Jackman being fired from his job. He promises his family a better life, and begins to assemble his circus crew. The bulk of the trailer is dedicated to a montage of dancing sequences and high-flying circus acts. “No »


- Seth Kelley

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Computer as Auteur? Ibm, Tribeca Contest Winner Imagines AI Auto-Generating Movie Previews Based on Scripts

5 hours ago

Filmmakers, writers, musicians and other creative professionals have long used technology in their work. But can machines produce a kind of intelligence that helps storytellers at a deeper creative level?

That’s the premise of the Ibm-sponsored “Storytellers With Watson” competition, launched in partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival. Over the last two months, the contest solicited and reviewed submissions about how media and entertainment pros can use artificial intelligence in new ways.

On Tuesday, after an all-day session at Ibm’s Think Lab in New York culminating in “Shark Tank”-style pitches, the Ibm and Tribeca jury selected a winner from five finalists: filmmaker and producer Seth Grossman and his “Rip-o-matic With Watson” (pictured above), which recognizes meaning in images and language for video editing to — in theory — automatically generate a sizzle-reel preview of a movie or TV pilot based on the script.

Related

Tribeca, Ibm Launch Contest Seeking Ideas About Using Artificial Intelligence in Entertainment »


- Todd Spangler

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‘The Beguiled,’ ‘The Double Lover,’ ‘Good Time’ to Compete at Jerusalem Film Festival

7 hours ago

After world premiering at Cannes, Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled,” François Ozon’s “The Double Lover” and the Safdie brothers’ “Good Time” will compete at the 34th Jerusalem Film Festival, which is set to take place July 13-23.

The fest’s international competition lineup also includes Lav Diaz’s “The Woman Who Left,” Stéphane Brizé’s “A Woman’s Life,” Valeska Grisebach’s “Western,” Hong Sang-soo’s “On the Beach at Night Alone,” Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross’s “My Happy Family,” Mohammad Rasoulof’s “A Man of Integrity,” Fellipe Gamarano Barbosa’s Cannes Critics’ Week title “Gabriel and The Mountain,” Călin Peter Netzer’s “Ana, Mon Amour” and Ferenc Török’s “1945.”

The Israeli film competition section is made up of seven movies which will vie for 11 prizes, including the Haggiag Award for Best Feature. The pics set to compete are Ofir Raul Graizer’s “The Cakemaker,” a daring drama about a young German baker who infiltrates »


- Elsa Keslassy

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With ‘Valerian’ Looming, EuropaCorp Posts Record Losses of $135 Million

10 hours ago

Paris – Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has posted record losses of 119.9 million euros ($135 million) during the fiscal year ending March 31, driven by a series of English-language flops and its costly U.S. distribution operations.

The 17-year-old film studio released its financial results Wednesday, just weeks before the opening of its enormously expensive sci-fi thriller “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” which EuropaCorp desperately needs to be a hit.

The company said that this year’s losses – more than triple the $44-million loss it posted in 2010 – were due to the under-performance of its U.S. slate. The studio cited the poor showing of “9 Lives,” “Shut In,” “Miss Sloane” and “The Circle.”

The banner distributed those films in the U.S. via Red, its joint venture with Relativity Media, and said it spent more than 100 million euros in P&A costs that were not fully recouped.

Although EuropaCorp didn’t mention Relativity in its financial release, the »


- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Boondock Saints’ Director Troy Duffy Boards Thriller ‘Blood Spoon Council’

17 hours ago

The Boondock Saints” director Troy Duffy is making his return to directing for the first time in nearly a decade with the psychological thriller “The Blood Spoon Council.”

Producer Scott Clayton and his Oceanside Media announced Tuesday that he’s producing and fully financing “The Blood Spoon Council.” Duffy last directed “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” in 2009.

The Blood Spoon Council” is titled after a vigilante group of the same name that hunts down and executes serial killers. When the FBI commissions a rogue profiler to get inside the head of the group, the investigation is derailed by a game of cat-and-mouse.

Duffy is developing the feature “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” and the comedy “Black Ghost,” which he is writing with Cedric The Entertainer. He’s partnered with Don Carmody of Dctv to create “The Boondock Saints: Origins.”

The original 1999 “Boondock Saints,” starring Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Norman Reedus, »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Despicable Me 3’ to Dominate Independence Day Weekend

19 hours ago

The summer box office this year hasn’t been the friendliest to franchise films, but “Despicable Me 3” looks to buck the trend.

In a record 4,529 locations — the widest domestic release ever — Illumination and Universal’s threequel could land in the $90 million-$100 million range this weekend. The studio is estimating slightly lower, around $85 million.

Either way, that’s a win for the franchise, which has grossed over $955 million domestically and $2.7 billion worldwide with the first three installations (including the “Minions” spinoff). “Despicable Me 2” opened this weekend in 2013, and earned $83.5 million. The franchise has historically performed well overseas — this installment has already taken in $20 million internationally from six select territories over the past two weekends.

Related

Film Review: ‘Despicable Me 3

Steve Carell plays double duty in “Despicable Me 3” as the series’ protagonist Gru, and now also his twin brother, Dru. The plot centers on the brothers, as they team up for a criminal heist. “South Park »


- Seth Kelley

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Hugh Jackman to Play Senator Gary Hart in ‘The Frontrunner’ Movie

20 hours ago

Hugh Jackman will star as Sen. Gary Hart in Jason Reitman’s political drama “The Frontrunner.”

Hart was the frontrunner during the early stages of the 1988 race for the Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was rocked by revelations of an extramarital affair with Donna Rice. The Colorado senator then dropped out of the race.

Matt Bai, Jay Carson, and Reitman wrote the screenplay, based on Bai’s book “All the Truth Is Out,” which chronicles Hart’s rise and dramatic fall. Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who had been trailing Hart, won the Democratic nomination and then lost to Republican George H.W. Bush.

“The Frontrunner” is being produced by Jason Reitman and Helen Estabrook through their Right of Way Films in partnership with Bron StudiosAaron L. Gilbert.

Related

How a Makeup Artist Helped Hugh Jackman Look His Worst in ‘Logan

Jackman starred in Fox’s “Logan,” which grossed $618 million worldwide for Fox. He »


- Dave McNary

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Gwendoline Christie Joins Steve Carell in Robert Zemeckis’ Drama

20 hours ago

Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie has joined the cast of the untitled Robert Zemeckis project opposite Steve Carell.

Diane Kruger, Leslie Mann and Janelle Monae are also starring in the movie. Carell will star as a man who builds a miniature World War II village as a way to recover from a violent assault. Christie will be his caretaker.

the story of one broken man’s fight as he discovers how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit.

Christie is well known for her role as Brienne of Tarth in HBO’s Game of Thrones and stars opposite Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Moss in “Top of the Lake.” She appeared as Captain Phasma in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and will return for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Zemeckis directs and produces from a screenplay he wrote with Caroline Thompson. Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke of Zemeckis’ Universal-based ImageMovers banner also produce, alongside »


- Dave McNary

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Gail Mancuso Directing Road Trip Comedy ‘Besties’ for DreamWorks

21 hours ago

Veteran television director Gail Mancuso will direct the road trip comedy “Besties” for DreamWorks Pictures.

The project has been in the works since last year when DreamWorks picked up the film rights to the script written by Cassie Daniels and Mark Bartosic. Ivan Reitman and Ali Bell are producing with Tom Pollock as executive producer.

The story follows a woman embarks on an epic road trip with her best friends to break up the wedding of her childhood crush after discovering a long-lost love note.

Universal would distribute. The project is eyeing late 2017 start.

Mancuso is a back-to-back Emmy winner for “Modern Family” in 2013 and 2014. She has directed over 300 television episodes, including “Modern Family,” “30 Rock,” “Friends” and “Roseanne.” Mancuso also has received three DGA nominations for directorial achievement in a comedy series.

She is represented by ICM Partners and law firm Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher.

Related storiesFox and Paramount Forge Unique Distribution Partnership in ItalyUniversal Dates »


- Dave McNary

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Ansel Elgort to Portray John F. Kennedy in World War II Drama ‘Mayday 109’

21 hours ago

Baby Driver” star Ansel Elgort has signed on to play John F. Kennedy in the drama “Mayday 109,” based on the 1943 sinking of Kennedy’s PT boat during World War II.

The project has been in development since 2015, when Beau Flynn and Basil Iwanyk acquired a script by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore. Kent Kubena and Taylor Zea will oversee for Thunder Road and Scott Sheldon will oversee for Flynn Picture Co. No director is yet attached.

Kennedy was the commander of patrol torpedo boat PT 109 in the South Pacific when it was rammed by a Japanese destroyer Amagin, killing two crewmen. With the crew presumed dead by allies, Kennedy led the 11 survivors in swimming to a deserted island, where the crew had to hide from passing Japanese barges.

Kennedy swam over two miles to two other islands in search of help and food, then led his men to Olasana Island, which »


- Dave McNary

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Michael Nyqvist, ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Star, Dies at 56

22 hours ago

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” films alongside Noomi Rapace, died on Tuesday following a battle with lung cancer, his representative confirmed. He was 56.

“On behalf of Michael Nyqvist’s representatives and family, it is with deep sadness that I can confirm that our beloved Michael, one of Sweden’s most respected and accomplished actors, has passed away quietly surrounded by family after a year long battle with lung cancer,” said his rep in a statement. “Michael’s joy and passion were infectious to those who knew and loved him. His charm and charisma were undeniable, and his love for the arts was felt by all who had the pleasure of working with him.”

Though best known for his role in the Swedish “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy, Nyqvist also broke into American film. He played the villain alongside Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol »


- Alex Stedman

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