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Disney/Fox Deal: How The Battle to Beat Netflix Starts Today, What Happens to the Fox Network, And Other Burning Questions

1 hour ago

Rupert Murdoch is cashing out. The idea of 21st Century Fox being consumed by Disney in a $52.4 billion all-stock deal has shocked Hollywood, where industry players never thought they’d see the powerful Fox behemoth be largely consumed, rather than do the consuming. But as one insider noted, Murdoch is looking toward his final legacy — and cashing out while the getting’s good.

“Rupert is 86. He’s looking toward setting up [his family],” one observer said. The industry is rapidly changing, and as the Disney deal currently values the 21st Century Fox assets at more than $66 billion, it’s probably never going to get better than that. Fox shareholders, including the Murdochs, could hold around 25 percent of a new mega-Disney, which will now be supremely positioned to face off with Netflix and other giants in the new media landscape.

The Murdochs got their start in the newspaper business, so it’s only »


- Michael Schneider

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‘The Ballad of Lefty Brown’ Director Jared Moshé Shares His Favorite Westerns

1 hour ago

The Western is the quintessential American movie genre. Its iconography has been seared into our collective conscious: the solitary cowboy riding the endless frontier, towns struggling to survive in a lawless land, the quick-drawing gunfighter. Generations of filmmakers have engaged with those symbols, building an entire cinematic language on a genre that began with the simple premise of good “white hats” vs. bad “black hats.” In doing so, they have created mythologies, torn down legends and subverted what it means to be an American.

My exposure to the West began in the living room of my parents’ house. My father, a Sephardic Jew born and raised in Greece, shared with me the movies he loved as a child. Over the years my enthusiasm for the genre only grew as I became a history buff, a lover of myths, and eventually a filmmaker. In interviews, I’m often asked to name my favorite Western, »


- Jared Moshé

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‘The Simpsons’ Producers on How They Predicted Disney Would Buy Fox 19 Years Ago

1 hour ago

The Disney-Fox merger is one of the biggest industry stories of the year, and it turns out “The Simpsons” saw it coming 19 years ago. The show has always managed to predict the future, be it Trump’s presidency or the FIFA corruption scandal, and it appears Matt Groening and company somehow knew their series would one day be opened by Disney.

Read More:Disney is Buying A Majority of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal

In the 1998 episode “When You Dish Upon a Star,” Homer becomes the personal assistant to Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger after they leave Hollywood behind and move to Springfield. When Ron Howard comes to visit the actors, Homer pitches a time-tralveing robot movie. Later in the episode, Howard is seen pitching Homer’s script to 20th Century Fox, and the sign in front of the studio lot reads “a division of Walter Disney Co.” You can »


- Zack Sharf and Michael Schneider

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The Best Male Movie Performances of 2017

2 hours ago

For many reasons, 2017 was an important year to celebrate actresses, and there were many great women in front of the cameras. However, this year’s best performances by men also stood out for pushing against commercial standards and delivering some of the most exciting characters of the year: Men conflicted about their desires, their responsibilities, and their identities as a whole. While a few of these roles may look more traditional than others, none of them are easy, and as a whole they stand out as major accomplishments that either challenge conventional notions of masculinity or scrutinize them with renewed vigor.

Of course, many of the best male performances of 2017 aren’t great because they’re guys; they’re great because they’re memorable performances, period — loaded with intrigue, thrills, and pathos. Here’s the best of the bunch.

15. Harris Dickinson, “Beach Rats

For his very first feature, British actor »


- Kate Erbland, Eric Kohn, David Ehrlich, Jude Dry, Jenna Marotta and Chris O'Falt

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Awards Spotlight: IndieWire Celebrates the Year’s Best Films With James Franco, Guillermo Del Toro, and More

2 hours ago

Today, we launch Indiewire’s annual IndieWire Awards Season Spotlight series, presented by Xfinity. We’ve recognized many of the great films produced in 2017 across two dozen candid video interviews. The IndieWire team talked to a fantastic range of talent, including Golden Globes and SAG nominees Gary Oldman and Saorise Ronan, Gotham Awards winners James Franco and Timothee Chalamet, and Globes-nominated filmmakers Angelina Jolie and Guillermo Del Toro. Over the next month, we’ll unveil them all.

In addition to our sponsors at Xfinity, major thanks to our production team who include Adrien Fulle and Holly Dillon from the Variety Content Studio, IndieWire Awards editor Anne Thompson, and Nikki Ganz and Jackson Stahl from Nik & Jax Productions.

The full list of IndieWire Awards Season Spotlight participants follows, listed in alphabetical order. Click here to see all of the interviews.

Sean Baker, “The Florida Project

Claes Bang, “The Square

Mary J. Blige, »


- Dana Harris

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Annette Bening Finds the Truth in the Very Strange Tale of Gloria Grahame and ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

3 hours ago

“Soon to be a major motion picture.” From its publication in 1986, that was what British actor-writer Peter Turner expected of his Gloria Grahame memoir “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.” But it took three decades for the May-December romance starring Annette Bening and Jamie Bell to finally hit theaters December 29.

This could have been yet another film that never got made. But James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli knew Turner back when the young actor was in love with Grahame, his fellow lodger twice his age at a Primrose Hill rooming house. “I’ve known Peter Turner for 40 years,” said Broccoli. “I met him and Gloria together. It was a special relationship. Sometime after she passed away he wrote the memoir, and gave me the manuscript. I thought it was so beautiful.”

 

Columbia Pictures chairman David Puttnam optioned the book shortly after its publication, but the project went into turnaround »


- Anne Thompson

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Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Partner Reflects on His Addiction Battle: ‘Every Day Was Filled With Worry’

3 hours ago

February 2, 2018 will mark four years since Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away, and his partner Mimi O’Donnell has opened up to Vogue in a new first-person account of the late actor’s devastating battle with heroin addiction during the final months of his life. O’Donnell knew Hoffman since 1999 and the two would go on to have three children together: Cooper, 14, Tallulah, 11 and Willa, 9.

“As soon as Phil started using heroin again, I sensed it, terrified,” O’Donnell writes. “I told him, ‘You’re going to die. That’s what happens with heroin.’ Every day was filled with worry. Every night, when he went out, I wondered: Will I see him again?”

According to O’Donnell, Hoffman’s addiction battle started with prescription pills before the actor turned to heroin. The two decided after Hoffman returned from a stint »


- Zack Sharf

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Disney’s Buy: What Happens to 21st Century Fox’s Leadership, Fox Searchlight, and ‘X-Men’?

3 hours ago

Now that Disney is purchasing 21st Century Fox, here’s what we know: $52.4 billion will change hands, the six-studio system will now be five, and Disney will have a serious arsenal for the 2019 launch of its over-the-top streaming services. Presuming that Disney convinces the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice that the union won’t violate existing antitrust laws, here’s a look at some of the merger’s biggest questions.

What Becomes of Fox’s Leadership?

The Disney/Fox merger comes on the same day that Disney/Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” hits multiplexes. Who from the Fox motion picture side will go to Disney (vice-chairman Emma Watts?) and who will be free to look for a new job (Fox chairman Stacey Snider?). Disney is happy with studio steward Alan Horn and his team.

With Snider’s ex-Universal president Scott Stuber running movies at Netflix, »


- Jenna Marotta and Anne Thompson

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‘Westworld’ Season 2 and ‘Sharp Objects’ First Footage Revealed in HBO 2018 Preview — Watch

3 hours ago

With “Game of Thrones” likely off the air until 2019, HBO wants to make sure you’ll stick with the network next year. Fortunately, HBO’s new 2018 preview video will surely do the trick, as it teases a promising slate of returning favorites like “Westworld” and new offerings like the Gillian Flynn adaptation “Sharp Objects.”

Read More:The 20 Best HBO Series of All Time, Ranked

Sharp Objects” brings director Jean-Marc Vallée back to HBO just a year after the success of “Big Little Lies,” for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. The eight-episode limited series stars Amy Adams as a former reporter who checks out of a psychiatric hospital and returns home to try and solve the murder of two young girls.

“Westworld” is perhaps the most anticipated series returning to HBO in 2018. The first season’s cliffhanger ending has made fans »


- Zack Sharf

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Anna Kendrick Was Told ‘Pitch Perfect’ Cast Needed ‘Tighter’ Costumes and to ‘Show More Skin’

4 hours ago

The “Pitch Perfect” franchise has made a killing at the box office thanks to its clever song mashups and female-charged ensemble, but that hasn’t stopped “people at the top” of Universal Pictures from giving some controversial notes.

Anna Kendrick recently told Harper’s Bazaar that the cast was requested to wear “tighter” costumes and show more skin, despite the fact that the franchise has largely succeeded with fans and audiences by not over-sexualizing its female characters.

Read More:Anna Kendrick: ‘Twilight’ Money Helped Me Afford to Be in Indie Movies

“It’s funny – whenever we do the wardrobe fittings I feel like we get notes from the top saying they should be tighter and sexier and show more skin,” Kendrick said. “And I’m like, that’s not why people are coming to see the movie. They definitely aren’t showing up because of our sex appeal. It »


- Zack Sharf

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Harvey Weinstein Responds to Salma Hayek: ‘All of the Sexual Allegations Are Not Accurate’

4 hours ago

Harvey Weinstein has responded to a sexual harassment allegation made by Salma Hayek in a first-person article written for The New York Times. Weinstein denies Hayek’s claims, saying he “does not recall pressuring her” to film a lesbian sex scene for the movie “Frida.” He refers to the star as a “first-class actress” and says he was “very proud” of her when she landed a Best Actress Oscar nomination for “Frida.”

Read More:Salma Hayek Says Harvey Weinstein Attempted to Assault Her: ‘I Don’t Think He Hated Anything More Than the Word No’

Hayek broke her silence against Weinstein in an article published December 13 entitled “Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too.” The actress said Weinstein would request to take showers with her and asked her to give him a massage, perform oral sex on her, and get naked with another woman, among other actions.

A majority of Hayek »


- Zack Sharf

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The Best TV Performances of 2017

5 hours ago

It’s virtually impossible to limit year-end lists to 10 or 20 shows, so it’s literally impossible to include all the great performances from 2017 on one list. But IndieWire has done our best, wading through the hundreds of award-worthy turns from veteran actors and TV newbies to find the best performances this year.

These actors accomplished something special: They elevated their shows even when it seemed like the series couldn’t go any higher. They found surprising depths within the writers’ words and surprised directors with keen insights into their characters. They made us laugh, cry, jump for joy, and scream in frustration. Their precision in understanding who they played helped evoke passion in the audience watching.

We will not soon forget, and if you haven’t yet seen some of these fine thespians go to work, make sure to make the time. There may be a lot of television out there, »


- Hanh Nguyen, Liz Shannon Miller, Ben Travers and Steve Greene

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Disney is Buying A Majority of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 Billion Deal

5 hours ago

After weeks of speculation, Disney is officially set to buy a majority of 21st Century Fox’s properties in a $52.4 million deal. The purchase includes 21st Century Fox’s movie studio, 20th Century Fox, and the company’s regional sports channels. Disney is also taking ownership of television cable channels FX and National Geographic and is getting Fox’s stakes in Hulu and Sky.

Read More:Fox’s Future: Here Are Four Different Ways The Network Might Survive or Disappear If the Murdochs Sell to Disney

21st Century Fox is keeping the Fox broadcasting network, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and several national sports networks in the deal and is expected to spin them off into a new company. The 20th Century Fox movie studio lot in Culver City will remain with its original parent company and be used for the spinoff company.

“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Phantom Thread’ Star Lesley Manville on Hollywood for Actresses Over 40: ‘It is getting better.’

10 hours ago

Daniel Day-Lewis’ Reynolds Woodcock may be the focus of “Phantom Thread,” but the women rule in Paul Thomas Anderson’s lavish character study. Although the fussy dressmaker is used to getting his way, every element of his professional and personal life is dictated by the women who surround him. And there’s no one more fearsome than his beloved sister and business partner, Cyril (Lesley Manville).

In Manville’s hands, Cyril is iron-willed with a flinty charm that keeps Reynolds and the audience on their toes. From a particular flick of her eyes to an unnerving scene where she baits Reynolds for a fight he will undoubtedly lose, Cyril never gives anyone — least of all her brother — an inch.

It’s a stunning performance, and one that subverts what Hollywood expects from and offers actresses over 40. “I’ve got a movie, a TV series, and a play,” the 61-year-old Manville recently told IndieWire. »


- Kate Erbland

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Morgan Spurlock Reveals Indiscretions in Confessional Post: ‘She Believed She’d Been Raped’

17 hours ago

In a lengthy post linked to on his Twitter just now, Morgan Spurlock reveals that a woman he slept with in college “believed she was raped” and that he now realizes he’s “part of the problem.”

“As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions,” begins his post, “I don’t sit by and wonder ‘who will be next?’ I wonder, ‘when will they come for me?'”

Read More:‘Tavis Smiley’ Suspended by PBS Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation

“When I was in college, a girl who I hooked up with on a one night stand accused me of rape,” he continues. “Not outright. There were no charges or investigations, but she wrote about the instance in a short story writing class and called me by name. A female friend who was in the class told be about it afterwards. »


- Michael Nordine

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Will Smith Predicts the Future, Says ‘It’s Going to Be a F*cking Mess’ at ‘Bright’ Press Event

17 hours ago

“This is the purge, right?” Will Smith asked the crowd. “This is the cleanse, this is what happens. This is the natural reaction to the amount of light that came into the world when Barack Obama was the president.”

It was the day after Doug Jones’ stunning win in Alabama and Smith was in a Four Seasons conference room with Joel Edgerton and director David Ayer, promoting their Netflix film, “Bright.” Presumably in a nod to the film’s setting of dystopian Los Angeles, Netflix dressed down the Beverly Hills location with  traffic cones, a rusty gate, and an upturned grocery cart.

While Smith never mentioned Jones or President Trump by name, he clearly had the current political climate in mind as he warmed to his subject. “We had to expect that [the pendulum] was going to go the other way,” he said. “As a cleanse — this is the darkness before the dawn. »


- Jenna Marotta

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‘Fresh Off the Boat’ to ‘One Day at a Time’ Are the Family-Friendly Shows Leading the Charge for Youth Coming-Out Stories

18 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Fresh Off the Boat” Season 4, Episode 10, “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” the first season of Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” and Season 2 of Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack.”]

“What up, girl. You gay?

You play any instruments?

Holla back at me.”

That eloquent haiku, scrawled on a coffee cup, is one of the first, albeit clumsy, attempts by “Fresh Off the Boat” character Nicole (Luna Blaise) to figure out what it means to live as a gay individual. Coming out has been an incremental process for her this season, and in Tuesday’s episode, she’s taking the next step. After developing a crush on a local barista at HotJava, Nicole considers communicating in poetry via paper cup to determine if the feeling is mutual.

Mainstream TV has come a long way since Ellen DeGeneres’ character came out on her self-titled sitcom 20 years ago. And these days, shows like ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” Netflix’s “One Day at a Time,” and Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” have put youth coming-out stories at the front and center. »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Tavis Smiley’ Suspended by PBS Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation

19 hours ago

Following an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct leveled against Tavis Smiley, PBS has suspended the late-night talk show that bears his name. Smiley has been hosting the show since 2004.

Read More:Salma Hayek Says Harvey Weinstein Attempted to Assault Her: ‘I Don’t Think He Hated Anything More Than the Word No’

“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by Ts Media, an independent production company,” PBS said in a statement to Variety, which first broke the news. “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”

Read More:Jessica Chastain on Speaking Up »


- Michael Nordine

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How Greta Gerwig’s Brilliant Use of Colors Turned ‘Lady Bird’ Into an Emotional Nostalgia Trip

20 hours ago

One of the things that’s often deceptive about an intimate coming-of-age movie like “Lady Bird” – built on nuanced performances, careful framing, and a subtle bittersweet tone – is the sense that it is somehow less cinematic, or less carefully crafted, than a bigger film with thrilling action scenes and bold camerawork.

For the look of “Lady Bird,” writer-director Greta Gerwig started working a year ahead of time with cinematographer Sam Levy  (with whom she’d previously collaborated on “Frances Ha” and “Maggie’s Plan”) to figure out how to turn her somewhat abstract visual concept into a reality. Levy turned to his colorist Alex Bickel (“Moonlight”) during pre-production to develop an unique technical process that could carry Gerwig’s vision through to the finish line.

Gerwig, Levy, and Bickel sat down with IndieWire to talk about about their collaboration on “Lady Bird” and were willing to share before and after »


- Chris O'Falt

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How the ‘Loving Vincent’ Animated Van Gogh Experiment Paid Off

20 hours ago

Loving Vincent” has become the surprise animated indie hit of the season, reaching $20 million worldwide at the box office and grabbing a Golden Globe nomination. An Oscar nom could follow as a result of its innovative experiment in hand-animating 65,000 frames of oil paintings, mimicking Vincent van Gogh’s bold colors and expressive brush strokes.

Read More:‘Loving Vincent’: How an Unknown Distributor Beat Its Competitors to Find This Runaway Hit

But that’s only part of it. By framing it as a speculative murder mystery shot with live-action performances (headlined by Saoirse Ronan and Aidan Turner), directors Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman have created a uniquely immersive animated experience. Their team of 125 painters integrated the performances into the oil painting style of animation through a combination of computer compositing and rotoscoping, thereby achieving a remarkable seven-year, $5.5 million production. (And, yes, it qualifies for Oscar consideration under the rules of »


- Bill Desowitz

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