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    Friday
    Oct302015

    Ben Affleck's 'Live By Night' Finally Starts Filming

    After Ben Affleck's Argo won the Oscar for Best Picture back in early 2013, he quickly set his next directorial effort to be Live By Night, an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel of the same name.

    Live By Night tells the story of Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston police captain who - during the 1920s - sets his sights on moving up the organized crime ladder, taking him from Boston, to Florida, to Cuba.

    Warner Bros. (who Affleck has worked with since 2010's The Town), originally set a December 25th, 2015 release date for the film, but then, things began to change.

    Affleck was offered the lead role in David Fincher's Gone Girl (which released last year), and of course, he accepted the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in next year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

    These developments created a logjam in the actor/writer/director's schedule, pushing back Live By Night to October 7, 2016, then again to an unknown 2017 date.

    Well finally, Affleck has gotten back behind the camera and took to social media two days ago to officially announce that production has begun on the film, posting an image of the first shot on camera.

    Not only is Affleck directing the project, but he's also playing the lead role of Joe Coughlin, as well as having written the film's screenplay.

    Live By Night also stars Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Sienna Miller and Chris Messina.

    The full synopsis of the novel is listed below. We'll keep you posted on more regarding this project.

    Boston, 1926. The ’20s are roaring. Liquor is flowing, bullets are flying, and one man sets out to make his mark on the world.

    Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing. Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city’s most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

    But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one—neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover—can be trusted. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt. 

    Joe embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa’s Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream. At once a sweeping love story and a compelling saga of revenge, it is a spellbinding tour de force of betrayal and redemption, music and murder, that brings fully to life a bygone era when sin was cause for celebration and vice was a national virtue.

    Source: Twitter - Ben Affleck

    Sunday
    Oct252015

    First Image Debuts from Jeff Nichols' 'Loving', Starring Joel Edgerton

    I know it's a popular custom to post stories about mainstream films being made in Hollywood nowadays (comic books movies, sequels, reboots, remakes, etc.) but sometimes, it's quite important to pay attention to the smaller, less known films being made. And usually, these films turn out to be quite good too.

    The producers behind the interracial marriage drama, Loving, have debuted their first image from the film, which stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving. The Lovings were an interracial couple who - after being married in June of 1958 - were arrested, thrown in jail and exiled from their home state of Virginia. For the next nine years, the committed couple fought for their marriage and their right to return home.

    The film is inspired by the Nancy Buirski documentary, The Loving Story, and is being written and directed by Jeff Nichols, who has quite the start to his film career with Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Mud and next year's, Midnight Special.

    Nichols longtime collaborator, Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) will once again have a role in this film, playing Grey Villet, the LIFE Magazine photographer who shot what are thought of as 'iconic' images of the Lovings in 1965 (I''ve posted a couple below).

    Nick Kroll (TV's The League) will play Bernard S. Cohen (the political figure who argued for the Lovings before the Supreme Court), Marton Csokas (The Equalizer) will play Sheriff Brooks (the man who arrested the Lovings), Jon Bass (Big Time in Hollywood, FL) will play Philip Hirschkop (another attorney who represented the Lovings in court) and Bill Camp (Black Mass) will play Frank Beazley (a police officer during the Loving's case), respectively.

    Filming is taking place in Richmond, Virginia.

    I know it's premature to even state this, but I think this project might get some awards buzz when it is eventually released. It's got a great filmmaker in Nichols (who's on the cusp hitting it big), an actor on a roll right now in Edgerton (who just starred in, produced, wrote and directed this past summer's hit, The Gift) and centers on a very sensitive civil rights topic in interracial marriage, which the Academy Awards voters always love.

    I'll keep up on any future news regarding this project.

    Source: The Wrap

    Monday
    Oct192015

    Doug Liman To Direct 'Gambit'?

    Just last month we reported that Rupert Wyatt (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) had left the director's chair for Gambit. While it was officially stated it had to do with a scheduling conflict for another project, buzz behind-the-scenes was that Wyatt was clashing with the studio over his vision for the film (with this being 20th Century Fox, there's a shocker).

    We haven't heard anything on the project since, but just last night it was reported that none other than Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Edge of Tomorrow) is being courted by star Channing Tatum himself to come aboard and helm: 


    That tweet was sent out by The Wrap's Jeff Sneider, responding to a Deadline article where it was mentioned Liman has the inside track to direct the project.

    Personally, I doubt this all happens. Doug Liman is well-known to be a great director but an absolute nightmare to work with for a studio. His films always have lengthy and rough productions as he constantly changes scenes from what's written in the scripts to try something new (though if you look at his results, especially with last year's Edge of Tomorrow, it'd be hard to argue he doesn't know what he's doing).

    On top of that, Gambit is set for release next October 7th, 2016. That is less than a year away. There is no way Liman takes on a film with deadline in under a year. Any director would be crazy to do that, and considering the problems this film has already had, I'd be willing to bet Fox delays this thing until 2017. You don't need an X-Men related film coming out next year with X-Men: Apocalypse hitting in May. Give it Fantastic Four 2's June 9th, 2017 release date because there's no way that one moves forward after the reboot's awful reception this past summer. Plus, it gives any director - Liman or not - an extra 8 months to breathe in getting this thing made.

    Anyway, we'll see how this all shakes out. Until then, keep your eye on the site as we'll report on any further developments on this project as it becomes available.

    Source: Jeff Sneider Twitter, Deadline

    Friday
    Oct162015

    Is 20th Century Fox Trying to Make a 'Die Hard 6' Prequel?

    Other than Terminator, Die Hard is the other once great action franchise that has been completely ruined by modern-day Hollywood filmmaking.

    Back in February of 2013, 20th Century Fox released the 5th entry in the franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard. It centered on our hero, John McClane (played once again by a now tired and bored looking Bruce Willis) heading to Russia to save his estranged son Jack (played by the nice guy who I'm sure tries hard but sucks in everything, Jai Courtney). The McClane father-son duo get involved with the wrong Russian bad guys and well...chaos ensues from there. Safe to say, the film was an absolute disaster (despite being R-rated). It had terrible writing, shittier directing and probably some of the worst editing I've ever seen in an action film. It was a far cry from the original, all-time classic Die Hard, and made 2007's 4th entry, Live Free or Die Hard, look like Citizen Kane.

    While the film was ripped by critics (14% on Rotten Tomatoes), it still made a sizable amount of box office worldwide with just over $300 million (but only about $70 million of that came from the U.S.). It was thought that after the film's terrible reception that we may not see another Die Hard film for a while. Well, thanks to our lovely, current day Hollywood, we might be getting another one soon, and man does it sound awful.

    A new report suggests that 20th Century Fox is making deals with both Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (best known for the Transformers film franchise...Jesus), to develop a prequel of sorts which would still involve Willis' now older John McClane, but center on a flashback story set in 1979 when the character first became a gritty New York cop and learned how to...die hard.

    Are. You. Kidding. Me.

    This has to be one of the absolute worst ideas I have ever read in my over 6 years freelance writing about the filmmaking industry. First off, why would you now bring in a younger actor to play a character that has been world renowned and recognized as Bruce Willis? Say what you will about the guy and his current 'laziness' in Hollywood, but he IS John McClane. Secondly, we don't need to know how the character learned to 'die hard' because we already found that out in the original Die Hard! You want an origin story, just go back and re-watch the 1988 classic and greatest action film ever made.

    *sigh*

    I sincerely hope the studio execs and filmmakers behind this thing realize what a terrible idea it is. Apparently, Willis is being kept in the loop regarding this project but as we all know nowadays, he'll do anything for a paycheck. While I enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard, Len Wiseman is not a filmmaker, period.

    My suggestion (and I know this story and rumor has been floating around the web for years) is to bring back director John McTiernan (Die Hard, Die Hard with a Vengeance) and set the 6th (and FINAL) entry in Japan on the 30th anniversary of the Nakatomi Plaza terrorist/hostage takeover in L.A. The company flies in a now retired John McClane along with friends and family (so you bring back everyone from previous films) to honor his heroic efforts three decades ago, and from there...chaos ensues. You can make the villain a Gruber once again (maybe Hans' son), have McClane end up back in a high-rise Nakatomi building only this time in Japan, and make the series come full circle with McClane one last time saving all his friends and family from terrorists on his own. It is the absolute best and most perfect way to end the Die Hard franchise but will more than likely not happen because it makes too much sense for Hollywood.

    I digress.

    We'll (sadly) keep you posted on further developments of this project as it becomes available. It the meantime, I might go watch the Die Hard with Vengeance and think about what once was.

    Source: Deadline

    Sunday
    Oct112015

    Watch Hilarious Deleted Scene from 'The Martian'

    If you haven't seen The Martian yet, I don't know what you're waiting for.

    It's gotten glowing reviews, been #1 at the box office going on two weeks straight now, and is starting to get some serious Oscar buzz due to it's broad appeal and critical acclaim.

    While the film had many funny moments translated from the book to screen, there were also a lot that were cut. It's unknown how many of them were actually filmed, but above we have our first look at one of the deleted scenes from the film.

    It's basically just Matt Damon's Mark Watney character doing one of his video logs while conducting experiments for his fellow astronauts, but damn does he get some good zingers in there to poke fun at each of his crew mates.

    Enjoy the clip if you've already seen The Martian, and if you haven't, well, maybe this will convince you to go see the film like everyone else.

    When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Tuesday
    Oct062015

    F. Gary Gray Expected to Direct 'Furious 8'

    After a well publicized back and forth on who will direct Furious 8 over the past couple weeks, it looks like both Universal and Vin Diesel have settled on their choice: F. Gary Gray.

    The Straight Outta Compton helmer reportedly took a meeting with Diesel last night (as the actor posted the above picture to his Facebook page) and word is that they have both agreed to work together on the 8th entry of the Fast & Furious franchise.

    This is quite a big deal for Gray. His recent commercial and critical success with the NWA biopic has made him a hot commodity in Hollywood and certainly with Universal. He was their top choice to helm the follow-up to Furious 7 but had to get Diesel to sign-off first. Ironically, both Diesel and Gray have worked together in the past on 2003's A Man Apart.

    While previous directors in the street racing franchise were bandied about to direct the 8th entry (James Wan, Justin Lin, Rob Cohen), some proved unavailable due to scheduling conflicts while others either weren't interested in returning or the studio wasn't high on bringing back. At one point it was thought Diesel might direct himself but obviously that was not going to happen with such a massive undertaking for a novice director.

    Pre-production is already underway on Furious 8 with principal photography expected to begin next year for a release on April 14th, 2017.

    Source: Deadline

    Saturday
    Oct032015

    'The Martian' Review

    Thursday
    Oct012015

    New Trailer for Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Revenant'

    If you're unfamiliar with the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Revenant, I'll give you a quick breakdown:

    It's directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who won the Oscar most recently for both Best Director and Best Picture with last year's Birdman. It not only stars DiCaprio but also Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Lukas Haas. It's based in part on the novel by Michael Punke (The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge) in which the film's official synopsis is as follows:

    Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.

    That's not all though.

    You see, the director, Iñárritu, wanted the film to be as authentic as possible. This resulted in filming of the project actually beginning last October in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada and concluding just this past August in southern Argentina. Why such a long production you ask? It's because the crew only filmed with natural light, deep in the wilderness for authenticity. This led to a constant battle against the elements to get scenes filmed and ensure what is put on screen isn't a result of 'CGI'.

    As you can see from the trailer below, it looks as if everyone involved in the film has pulled off something truly breathtaking. Every scene here looks amazing and I don't doubt for a second this was probably the most grueling shoot any of the actors and crew members have gone through to make this film. If this thing doesn't end up a serious Oscar contender this upcoming season, I will be shocked.

    Sound off with your comments below. What do you think of the trailer?

    The Revenant opens in limited release on Christmas Day and expands nationwide on January 8th.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Saturday
    Sep262015

    Jamie Foxx Describes Opening Scene to Mike Tyson Movie

    A Mike Tyson movie starring Jamie Foxx is something that's been in the works for years, and by years I mean I can recall reading about it as far back as 2009 when Tyson was promoting his role in The Hangover. The former heavyweight champ joked that Foxx - in order to accurately portray his prime physical presence back in the day - would have to 'take a lot of steroids...lift weights...eat a lot'.

    Fast forward to last year, we got official word that not only would Foxx be playing Tyson in a film biopic, but that screenwriter Terrence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Wolf of Wall Street) would be penning the screenplay. Winter was coming off his Oscar nomination for the aforementioned film.

    Then earlier this year, it was announced by Foxx himself that none other than Martin Scorsese would be directing. This actually wasn't too much of a surprise considering Scorsese had frequently worked with Winter on a number of projects as well as the director's experience in helming a boxing film (Raging Bull anyone?).

    Not much has been heard on the project since, but just this morning I came across a video earlier this year (which I've posted below) where Foxx details the opening scene to the film and man, does it sound good. Mike Tyson's story has always been one of triumph and tragedy, going from being on top of the world to losing everything. For those unfamiliar with his life, I've also attached a clip from earlier this year as well when Foxx was on The Ellen Show, talking about playing the former boxer.

    Just check both of them out, I'm sure it'll grab your attention:

    Sources: Variety, Entertainment Weekly, YouTube

    Tuesday
    Sep222015

    New Promo Video for 'The Martian' Wants to Bring Mark Watney Home

    If you haven't noticed lately, a lot of posts on this site have been for the upcoming 20th Century Fox release of The Martian.

    There's other stories to write about in Hollywood currently, but this movie opens in a little over a week and it deserves to do well. It's based off a great book, it's got a hell of a talented cast, and from all accounts, it's turned out to be a fantastic film (still 97% on Rotten Tomatoes).

    So with that said, I have brought the new promo video for The Martian, featuring an in-world, global union to bring the United State's astronaut, Mark Watney, home safely. It's actually pretty well done, certainly showing off what I hope is a strong theme throughout the film of people coming together to save another...and on a global scale, that's pretty great.

    You can view the promo video below and sound off with your comments as well. What do you think of the promotion for the film thus far?

    “If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it's found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don't care, but they're massively outnumbered by the people who do.”

    Source: 20th Century Fox

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