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Colin Trevorrow Responds to Negative ‘Book of Henry’ Reviews: ‘I Do Stand by the Movie’

3 hours ago

Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow, whose latest, “The Book of Henry,” hit theaters last weekend, addressed the scathing reviews that the drama has received, calling it “hugely disappointing.”

“It’s a little heartbreaking, without getting too personal,” he told the Empire Podcast. “It came to us as a bit of a shock because we had screened this movie to so many people, and we’d had reactions from so many people that we felt we knew what we had and we knew how it was affecting the audience. And that actually hasn’t changed. It affects audiences in the same way that we thought it would.”

“We did not anticipate that level of vitriolic dislike for the film,” he added. “In the end, do I want to be somebody who pleases both audiences and critics? Absolutely. Is that hugely disappointing? It is.”

Related

Star Wars’: Will Colin Trevorrow Be a Force for Good After ‘The Book of Henry’?

The Book of Henry »


- Dixie Limbachia

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Jared Leto Partners With Omni Magazine for Production Deal (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

Jared Leto is partnering with Omni magazine in a deal to produce original content, Variety has learned exclusively

Jerrick Media and Leto’s Paradox made the announcement Monday. The companies did not disclose any specific projects.

Omni was a science and science fiction magazine published in the Us and the UK between 1978 and 1995. It contained articles on science, parapsychology, and short works of science fiction and fantasy and included authors such as Isaac Asimov, George Rr Martin and William Gibson.

Jerrick Media purchased the rights to Omni in 2012 along with several other brands, and has since reestablished the magazine as an online archive and forum for user-generated fiction.

Rick Schwartz, founder of Jerrick Media, said in a statement, “Omni is one of the crown jewels in the Jerrick portfolio. I can’t think of a better person to partner with in developing its content than Jared, whose career has been defined by fearlessness, otherworldly »


- Dave McNary

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Best ‘Harry Potter’ Book Plotlines and Scenes Left Out of the Movies

5 hours ago

Exactly 20 years ago, J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” hit bookshelves, marking the birth of a massive franchise, both in literature and on the big screen.

The films are lauded by fans by being largely faithful to Rowling’s beloved books, but there are a few key plotpoints that many wish had made it into the movies. In honor of the 20th anniversary milestone, Variety breaks down some of the biggest omissions.

S.P.E.W.

Ask any Hermione Granger fan what the biggest injustice of the “Harry Potter” movies was, and they’ll likely tell you S.P.E.W. Hermione founded S.P.E.W. — Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare — after witnessing the gross treatment of house-elves at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup. While the movement was highlighted briefly in the movies, thanks in large part to Dobby, S.P.E.W. saw Hermione as a champion for equal rights »


- Alex Stedman

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Fossil Hunters Drama ‘Remarkable Creatures’ Movie in the Works

5 hours ago

Tracy Chevalier’s historical drama “Remarkable Creatures” is in development as a movie at Resonate Entertainment, a new production company formed by Susan Cartsonis, Suzanne Farwell, and Brent Emery, Variety has learned exclusively.

“Tracy is a brilliant storyteller and tremendous talent,” Cartsonis said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring her into our Resonate family. We created this new company to develop and produce complex and interesting female characters and ‘Remarkable Creatures’ embodies that idea.”

“Remarkable Creatures” is set against the dramatic landscape of the English coastal town of Lyme-Regis and centers on two female 19th century fossil hunters who make significant discoveries that changed the scientific world forever. The story reveals invisible women in science who were influential but marginalized and whose accomplishments were appropriated by men.

“The themes that the book explores of gender, class, female friendship and scientific discovery could not be more timely,” said Farwell. “Female »


- Dave McNary

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Cedric Klapisch’s ‘Back to Burgundy’ Lands at Music Box (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

Music Box Films has bought the U.S. rights to Cedric Klapisch’s comedy-drama “Back to Burgundy” and plans a fall launch in theaters, followed by a home entertainment release.

“Back to Burgundy” stars French actors Pio Marmai, Ana Girardot, and Francois Civil. The story focuses on a man who left his family and his native Burgundy 10 years ago to tour the world. When learning of his father’s imminent death he returns to his childhood home where he, his sister and brother inherit their family vineyard. As the seasons go by and they work to save the vineyard, they’ll have to learn to trust each other again and reinvent their relationship.

“We are thrilled to bring to the U.S. Cedric Klapisch’s tender and charming tale of the ties that bind a family to each other and to the land they love,” said William Schopf, president of Music Box Films. “The »


- Dave McNary

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‘The Big Sick’ Wins Top Award at 2017 Nantucket Film Festival (Complete List)

6 hours ago

Kumail Nanjiani’s semi-autobiographical romantic comedy “The Big Sick” was the big winner at the 2017 Nantucket Film Festival, which announced its award winners on Monday.

Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River” was the runner-up.

Best of the Fest awards went to “The Big Sick,” “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Alexandra Dean,” “Monkey Business,” and “Wind River.” »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation Sends Restored Classics to Colombia’s IndieBo Film Festival (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

Colombia’s fledgling Bogota indie film festival, IndieBo, has scored a coup with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation in a pact that will have the festival screening a selection of 10 restored classics from the foundation’s library starting this year.

Among the titles in the selection are Marlon Brando’s 1961 Western “One-Eyed Jacks,” Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “All About Eve,” Elia Kazan’s “On the Waterfront,” Frank Capra’s “It Happened One Night,” Nicholas Ray’s “Rebel Without a Cause” and Billy Wilder’s “Witness for the Prosecution.”

“This will be an annual event; some of these titles have never screened in Colombia,” said IndieBo artistic director/programmer Juan Carvajal, who cobbled the agreement with the foundation in New York.

He added: “After seeing ‘One Eyed Jacks’ and [Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 sci-fi epic] “Stalker” in New York, I felt that Colombia had to live this marvelous and unique experience, too, and that’s what drove me to pursue this agreement.” The »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Continues to Dominate Social Media

6 hours ago

Sony and Marvel’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” continued to dominate social media buzz with 113,000 new conversations last week, according to media-measurement firm ComScore and its PreAct service.

The activity was spurred by a news conference with the cast in New York on June 25, and announced details for the 2019 sequel. It was the second week in a row that the sixth Spider-Man movie had topped the PreAct chart.

Spider-Man: Homecoming,” starring Tom Holland as a 15-year-old Spider-Man who’s still in high school, has produced a total of 2.31 million new conversations. The tentpole opens on July 7.

Related

Ron Howard on ‘Star Wars’ Han Solo Movie Directing Gig: ‘I’ve Been a Fan Forever’

Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Infinity War” produced 59,000 new conversations last week after the studio released set photos on June 22 and 25. Producer Kevin Feige revealed details for some of the Marvel characters’ fates and that the the movie — which opens May 18, 2018 — would be the final installment.

Disney-Lucasfilm »


- Dave McNary

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‘Conjuring 3’ in the Works With David Leslie Johnson Attached to Write Script

7 hours ago

The “Conjuring” universe continues to expand.

New Line is moving forward on its third iteration of the “Conjuring” franchise with “The Conjuring 3.” David Leslie Johnson is on board to script. James Wan will serve as producer through his Atomic Monster production company with Peter Safran.

The logline for “The Conjuring 3” is under wraps. As with the first two “Conjuring” films, which starred Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal researchers Lorraine and Ed Warren, the story will be taken from the Warrens’ case files.

Johnson wrote “The Conjuring 2,” which went on to gross $320 million worldwide. The news comes two weeks after New Line launched development on “The Crooked Man,” based on the malevolent character in “The Conjuring 2” in the the fourth film spinoff from Wan’s 2013 hit “The Conjuring.” The others are “Annabelle,” “Annabelle: Creation” and “The Nun.”

The two “Conjuring” films and 2014’s “Annabelle” have combined to gross $897 million in box office worldwide. “Annabelle: Creation »


- Dave McNary

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Set Photos

7 hours ago

Photos from behind-the-scenes of “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Related stories'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Continues to Dominate Social Media'Sherlock' Team Reuniting for New 'Dracula' Series (Exclusive)'Spider-Man: Homecoming': Peter Parker Tries to Grow Up in New Trailer (Watch) »


- Jacob Bryant

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Ben Affleck in Talks for ‘The Accountant’ Sequel at Warner Bros.

9 hours ago

Ben Affleck is in talks with Warner Bros. for a sequel to last year’s action-thriller “The Accountant.”

The studio is also in negotiations to bring back screenwriter Bill Dubuque, director Gavin O’Connor, and producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Mark Williams for the untitled project.

The Accountant” also starred Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, and Cynthia Addai-Robinson. The storyline followed a small-town certified public accountant with high-functioning autism who makes his living uncooking the books of criminal organizations.

Related

Ben Affleck Pays Tribute to ‘Batman’ Predecessor Adam West

His character had received extensive military training as a child, which he uses as an adult to protect himself. Affleck’s character accepts payment in various non-cash forms such as rare comics, gold bricks, and paintings by famous artists. He formed an attachment with Kendrick’s character and rescued her after they were targeted for assassination.

The Accountant »


- Dave McNary

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Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo Untitled Drama From Dan Gilroy Lands at Netflix

10 hours ago

Netflix has won an auction for the movie rights to an upcoming untitled feature film drama set in the art world and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo.

Dan Gilroy will direct from his own script. The project re-teams Gilroy with “Nightcrawler” stars Gyllenhaal and  Russo in which the former played an ambitious cameraman and the latter a local news producer.

Gilroy has been directing a legal thriller with Denzel Washington for Sony, which recently changed the title from “Inner City” to “Roman Israel.”

Gyllenhaal stars Netflix’s “Okja,” directed by Bong Joon-Ho, which competed at the Cannes Film Festival last month. The movie also starred Korean child actress Ahn Seo-hyun alongside Tilda Swinton and Paul Dano. Netflix will make “Okja” available to stream on June 28.

He will be seen next as Jeff Bauman in the Boston Marathon drama “Stronger.” Gyllenhaal’s production company Nine Stories produced “Stronger” along with Mandeville and Bold. The film, »


- Dave McNary

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‘War for the Planet of the Apes’: It’s Time to Revamp the Special Achievement Oscar

10 hours ago

Matt Reeves’ “War for the Planet of the Apes” hits theaters July 14, but the filmmakers and 20th Century Fox are clearly confident in what they have. The review embargo lifted early Monday, more than two weeks ahead of release, while those who saw the film at a handful of early screenings were encouraged to share their enthusiasm on social media immediately.

And there was plenty of enthusiasm to go around. Reeves has crafted an epic and emotional study of grief and vengeance and the folly of man. It’s a truly remarkable tentpole film amid the frenetic summer fray, but it’s also yet another victory lap for the performance capture techniques Andy Serkis has been championing and defending as they’ve slowly but surely moved from industry-threatening boogeyman to wave of the future.

Which leaves the question: Is it time for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to dust off the defunct special achievement »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Palm Springs International Shortfest Announces 2017 Winners

10 hours ago

The 2017 Palm Springs International Shortfest announced its winners on Sunday. The short film festival screened 338 short films with more than 4,200 filmmaker submissions available in the film market.

Facing Mecca” received two awards, including best of the festival. “The Head Vanishes” and “Dekalb Elementary” received jury awards, and “Red Light,” “Coin Operated,” “Kayayo,” and “Lost Face” received audience awards.

“After spending a week in and out of theaters, and talking with filmmakers and audiences, we close out the festival with such a strong sense of community,” said festival director Lili Rodriguez. “Filmmakers are making movies about the changing world around them. I think our award winners showcase an understanding and compassion for people and it’s a great thing to see.”

The Palm Springs International Film Festival will be held Jan. 4-15, 2018, and the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala will be held Jan. 2.

The 2017 Palm Springs International Shortfest award winners are:

Jury Awards:

Best Of Festival »


- Rebecca Rubin

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SAG-AFTRA Board Defends Leaders Over Alleged Misconduct

10 hours ago

SAG-AFTRA’s national board has rejected allegations of extensive misconduct by its top leaders, following accusations made in April by former SAG president Ed Asner and eight other members.

The board unanimously passed a resolution Sunday saying that the allegations by the United Screen Artists Committee were “either false or completely unsubstantiated,” based on a report by its outside counsel and accountants.

“The National Board that SAG-aftra categorically rejects the allegations and claims of the Usac letter and declines to take any of the actions requested therein, other than making records and information available for review by members as has always been SAG-aftra policy,” the board said.

“Be it further resolved that SAG-aftra urges Usac and its individual signatories to withdraw their potentially defamatory, unsubstantiated allegations against SAG-aftra executive leadership, and Be it finally resolved that the National Board expresses its full confidence in and appreciation for National Executive Director David White, Chief »

- Dave McNary

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Smith Global Media Signs Distribution Deal With Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Exclusive)

10 hours ago

Recently launched theatrical distribution company Smith Global Media and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a distribution agreement for upcoming Sgm releases through 2020.

The pact includes both digital and physical distribution worldwide for Smith Global’s next 10-12 releases. Sphe will also handle the subscription video-on-demand (Svod) and television distribution.

Harry Smith, Will Smith’s younger brother, heads Smith Global Media. Smith has worked with his brother in real estate and at Overbrook Entertainment.

Variety first reported in October that Smith Global Media would handle its first release with the family drama “Believe,” which grossed $890,000 in 638 U.S. locations. Smith told Variety at that point that the company would distribute releases with budgets in the $5 million range.

Smith Global Media is bringing compelling, high-quality films to the marketplace,” said Ben Means, senior VP Strategic Partnerships for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. “The strength of this slate will resonate with consumers globally in the home entertainment window on physical »


- Dave McNary

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Mantarraya Prods. Kicks Off Shoot of ‘Nahui’ (Exclusive)

11 hours ago

Principal photography on Mantarraya’s artist biopic “Nahui” kicks off Monday in Mexico City with Irene Azuela, who has starred in “Miss Bala” and in Netflix’s “Sense8,” in the titular role.

“It’s our most ambitious film to date,” said Mantarraya’s Jaime Romandia, who describes it as a period piece and the first biopic in the company’s slate.

Azuela plays opposite Julio Bracho whose credits include TV series “El Capo” and Jorge Negrete’s biopic “Cantinflas,” as Dr. Atl, a painter and writer with whom Nahui had a tumultuous affair. Her real name was Carmen Mondragon but Dr. Atl gave her the moniker Nahui Olin, a symbol of Aztec renewal meaning “four movements.” At the peak of her career in the ‘20s and ‘30s, Nahui also posed as a model for the likes of Diego Rivera, Jean Charlot and Edward Weston.

Mantarraya is also prepping another pic with Tort, “Los »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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Ridley Scott’s ‘All the Money in the World’ Sold to Lucky Red for Italy

12 hours ago

Rome — Italy’s Lucky Red has acquired Italian rights to Ridley Scott-directed kidnap drama “All The Money in the World” from Stx in the first announced sale of the hotly anticipated kidnapping thriller about the true 1973 abduction for ransom of J. Paul Getty III.

The potentially harrowing crime drama, which is currently shooting in Rome, stars Kevin Spacey as oil billionaire J. Paul Getty, who was reluctant to pay the ransom demanded by Italian kidnappers for his grandson; Michelle Williams as Gail Harris, the kidnapped teenager’s mother; Mark Wahlberg as the ex-cia negotiator brought on board to help negotiate; and rising star Charlie Plummer in the role of J. Paul Getty III (pictured after his release) whose ear was cut off to coerce the family into paying.

In one of the standout deals of the Cannes market Stx in May took international rights to the potentially harrowing crime drama produced by Imperative Entertainment and Scott-Free »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Jack Black Comedy ‘The Polka King’ Lands at Netflix

12 hours ago

Netflix has picked up global rights to Jack Black’s comedy “The Polka King” and plans to launch the film later this year.

The Polka King” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Maya Forbes directed the film from a script she wrote with Wally Wolodarsky.

Jenny Slate, Jason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, J.B. Smoove, and Vanessa Bayer also star in the story of local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan. The movie is based on the Joshua Brown and John Mikulak documentary, “The Man Who Would be Polka King,” which detailed Lewan’s rise and fall after persuading fans to invest in a Ponzi scheme, which landed him in jail.

Producers are David Permut, Stuart Cornfeld, Shivani Rawat, Monica Levinson, Wally Wolodarsky, Jack Black and Priyanka Mattoo. Production companies are ShivHans Pictures, Red Hour Film, Permut Presentations, and Electric Dynamite.

Dennis Harvey gave “The Polka King” a strong review at Sundance: “One of those conspicuously talented comics »


- Dave McNary

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DMG Invests in Super League Gaming, Launches eSports Division (Exclusive)

12 hours ago

Dmg Entertainment is launching a new eSports division and has invested in Super League Gaming, Variety has learned.

The move comes as Dmg has been diversifying in recent months, moving beyond backing movies and shows to invest in emerging media platforms such as virtual reality. Dmg is best known for backing the likes of “Looper” and “Iron Man 3.” The new division is staffing up and sees the Super League Gaming equity stake as part of a larger strategic partnership.

eSports is one of the fastest growing sections of the gaming space. It involves organized multi-player competitions centered around popular video games such as “Hearthstone” and “Call of Duty.” The eSports market is projected to have grossed $463 million in 2016 and is expected to generate $1.1 billion in revenues by 2019, according to market researcher Newzoo.

Super League Gaming is trying to tap into that burgeoning audience by hosting competitions in movie theaters. Last year, »


- Brent Lang

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