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‘Paddington 2’ Producers Seek to Exit Distribution Deal With Weinstein Company
3 hours ago
With the future of the Weinstein Company already uncertain, the backers of the family film “Paddington 2” are looking to sever distribution ties with the company, Variety has confirmed.
According to The Guardian, Heyday Films and French company StudioCanal, the co-producers of the film, feel that a movie that caters to children shouldn’t remain associated with the sex harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
TWC also distributed the first “Paddington” film in the U.S. through its TWC-Dimension label, where it grossed $76.3 million, making it one of the company’s highest-grossing movies. Bob Weinstein has referred to “Paddington 2” as a reason why TWC’s future is not completely dire, and if the contract is not terminated, “Paddington 2” may become TWC’s biggest hit since 2012’s “Django Unchained.” The film is set for release in November in the U.K. by StudioCanal and January in the U.S. via TWC-Dimension.
“TWC has had nothing to do with the making »
- Erin Nyren
Dozens of Women Accuse Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment
22 October 2017 9:17 AM, PDT
Oscar-nominated writer-director James Toback has been accused of sexually harassing at least 38 women stemming back to at least the 1980s.
A Los Angeles Times report explains that while some of the women were looking for work in the entertainment industry at the time of the alleged incidents, others were simply women Toback approached. 31 of the women agreed to speak on the record, and they all detailed various incidents in which Toback allegedly made lewd suggestions, steered conversations into sexually explicit territory, and in the worst instances, rubbed against them until he ejaculated into his pants or on their bodies.
“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,’” actress Adrienne Lavalley said of a 2008 hotel room encounter that ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg. When she recoiled, he stood up and ejaculated in his pants. “I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, »
- Erin Nyren and Rebecca Rubin
Uber Sexual Harassment Movie in the Works With Susan Fowler
17 minutes ago
Good Universe is teaming up with Susan Fowler, who exposed Uber’s sexual harassment problems, for a movie about her experience at the company.
Fowler disclosed the ride-share company’s problems in a Feb. 19 blog post titled “Reflecting on One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber.” The post led to an internal investigation and CEO Travis Kalanick’s resignation.
Fowler wrote in her post, “When I joined Uber, the organization I was part of was over 25% women. By the time I was trying to transfer to another eng organization, this number had dropped down to less than 6%. Women were transferring out of the organization, and those who couldn’t transfer were quitting or preparing to quit. There were two major reasons for this: there was the organizational chaos, and there was »
- Dave McNary
‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Creates Thunderous Buzz on Social Media Ahead of Debut
59 minutes ago
Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” dominated social media last week with a hefty 113,000 new conversations with the release of extended clips and plot details, according to media-measurement firm comScore and its PreAct service.
The third Thor movie has now totaled 1.65 million new conversations two weeks before the Nov. 3 opening of the tentpole.
“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi from a screenplay by Eric Pearson and the writing team of Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Hopkins.
Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” generated 70,000 new conversations following the Oct. 16 release of the first full action-packed trailer. In it, Chadwick Boseman’s character, T’Challa, returns to his home where he rules, the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Footage throughout the trailer shows him embodying his superhero identity, Black Panther.
Michael B. Jordan’s character Erik Killmonger — an exile who seeks to overthrow »
- Dave McNary
Harvey Weinstein Is a Monster of Hollywood’s Own Making. What Are We Going to Do About It?
1 hour ago
We are at a tipping point.
Three weeks ago, Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Today, he is radioactive — denounced, dismissed, and defending himself against potential lawsuits and criminal investigation. It has felt for several days as if the sky is falling in Hollywood; as if the firmament that the entertainment ecosystem is crumbling before our eyes. It has been horrifying and cathartic, in turns; long-held secrets are being uncovered, while long-buried suspicions are being validated. What may have started with Harvey Weinstein is not ending with him: Already, several men throughout media and entertainment have been outed by their employees and in many cases, ousted by their employers. When a movement can unseat an agent, an editor, a showrunner, and an executive, it is just getting started. Little doubt there are more to follow.
The last two weeks have seen a steady stream of stories, from women in »
- Sonia Saraiya
Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges to Star in Drama ‘Ben Is Back’
1 hour ago
Lucas Hedges, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “Manchester by the Sea,” will portray a charming yet troubled man who returns home to his unsuspecting family on Christmas Eve. His wary mother welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns that he is still very much in harm’s way.
Color Force and Black Bear Pictures are producing alongside the elder Hedges, with 30West and Black Bear fully financing the project. CAA, which packaged and arranged financing for the movie, will represent U.S. rights. Sierra/Affinity will be handling international rights at the American Film Market, which opens Nov. 1 in Santa Monica, Calif.
Production is set to begin this December in New York.
Roberts stars in the upcoming drama “Wonder,” opposite [link=nm »
- Dave McNary
Watch the Stunning Trailer for Daniel Day-Lewis’ Final Film, ‘Phantom Thread’
1 hour ago
Variety first reported on June 20 that Day-Lewis was retiring from acting at the ago of 60, after completing production on “Phantom Thread.”
The film — set in 1950s post-war London — follows Day-Lewis, a renowned dressmaker, who, with his sister (portrayed by Lesley Manville), is at the center of British fashion. His life is disrupted by a strong-willed woman, played by Vicky Krieps, who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. “You look beautiful, very beautiful,” he tells her.
“Why are you not married?” she asks at one point, evoking only nervous laughter from the actor.
Manville declares at one point to Krieps, “May I warn you of something — my brother can feel cursed; that love is doomed for him.”
- Dave McNary
Judith Light, Roberta Colindrez to Star in Drama ‘Ms. White Light’ (Exclusive)
2 hours ago
Paul Shoulberg will direct the film from his own script. The movie will be produced by Spicer and John Robert Armstrong for their Indiana-based company Pigasus Pictures. Shooting begins Oct. 27 in Bloomington, Ind.
Ortiz and Colindrez portray a father-daughter team who operate Cordova Mortality Solutions, counseling terminally ill clients, while Light plays a sharp-tongued free spirit who has no time for her own mortality. Spicer is a psychic medium and Meyer portrays a woman dying of a terminal blood disease.
“Ms. White Light” is the first in Pigasus Pictures’ slate of six films to be produced locally in Indiana over the next three years. Spicer and Armstrong previously teamed with Shoulberg to produce “The Good Catholic,” starring John McGinley and Danny Glover.
Light stars on “Transparent” and was nominated for a supporting actress »
- Dave McNary
Award-Winning Animated Short ‘Negative Space’ Makes Online Debut
2 hours ago
After playing in more than 80 festivals and winning 25 prizes since premiering at Annecy in June, the stop-motion animated short “Negative Space” will be available for viewing online for two weeks beginning on Monday.
“Negative Space,” co-directed by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, is an adaptation of the poem by Ron Koertge. The poem’s tale about a boy who connects with his father by learning to pack a suitcase touched each of the filmmakers in different ways.
For Kuwahata, it was especially personal. “As an airline pilot, my father traveled often when I was growing up. I don’t really remember things like trips to the zoo or theme parks, but the image of him packing a crisp, white shirt is burned in my memory,” she recalls. “I remember my dad adjusting his watch precisely before leaving the house and I remember the packing list that he pinned to the wall of his study. My most vivid »
- Terry Flores
Ashley Judd Sets First TV Interview After Harvey Weinstein Allegation
4 hours ago
Ashley Judd, whose sexual harassment allegation against Harvey Weinstein helped take down the disgraced power producer, will give her first television interview since the fallout to ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.
Although Judd told Variety in 2015 about her borrowing experience being sexually harassed by a mogul, she declined to name him at the time. The “Kiss the Girls” actress went pubic with the allegations in an Oct. 5 article in the New York Times, which led dozens of other women to come forward with their own stories about sexual misconduct. The bombshell report chronicled decades of sex harassment allegations and revealed that Weinstein reached confidential settlements with at least eight women, including Rose McGowan.
“Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply »
- Maane Khatchatourian
George Clooney ‘Glad’ Academy Took Action Against Weinstein: ‘It’s Long Overdue’
5 hours ago
Matt Damon and George Clooney added their voices to the particularly prominent dialogue surrounding sexual harassment culture. Their input was prompted by the continuously growing number of allegations being brought to light within the industry, primarily against their former colleague Harvey Weinstein.
At the premiere of “Suburbicon” Sunday night in Los Angeles, Clooney addressed past sexual harassment cases, specifically those involving Bill Cosby and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, which didn’t ignite change quite the way they should have.
“We hope this is a watershed moment for us as a society, where women feel safe enough to talk about this issue, feel believed, and where men who are committing these crimes, these violations, don’t feel safe, and feel as if, if they do these things, they’re going to be outed, they’re going to be sued, they may even get litigated, maybe go to jail for it,” he told reporters »
- Rebecca Rubin
‘Darkest Hour’ Gets Endorsed by Churchill Family, Experts
5 hours ago
“Darkest Hour” is getting some key endorsements as it revs up its awards season campaign.
The historical drama about Winston Churchill’s efforts to rally the British people in the bleakest days of World War II has been embraced by members of the prime minister’s family and by Churchill experts. They believe that the film, with a few dramatic embellishments, is a good faith effort to capture a vital period in Chuchill’s prime ministership — a time when he was being pressured to sign a peace agreement with Adolf Hitler and did not yet have the popular and political support he needed to wage the war.
“My take is overwhelmingly positive,” says Michael Bishop, executive director of the International Churchill Society and the director of the National Churchill Library at George Washington University. “It’s a great opportunity to spark renewed interest in Churchill.”
- Brent Lang
Virtual Reality Makes Real Gains Across Africa
6 hours ago
Head a few miles north of the Sandton Convention Center, where more than a thousand producers, broadcasters, and assorted industry execs are gathering this week to discuss the latest trends in African content at Discop, and you can deep-sea dive off the Galapagos islands, battle zombies, buckle up for a trip to the moon—or look into the future.
At VRCade, a virtual reality arcade which opened in Johannesburg last year, customers can get a glimpse of what the burgeoning Vr industry will have in store as it expands into the African market.
Yet just as tepid headgear sales in the U.S. in 2016 tempered industry-wide forecasts of an impending Vr revolution, widescale adoption in Africa seems a good way off—even in South Africa, the continent’s most-developed market.
- Christopher Vourlias
Discop Africa: Guest Country Germany Talks African Ties
6 hours ago
For visitors looking to escape the cold at this year’s European Film Market (Efm) in Berlin, the first Berlinale Africa Hub offered a chance to warm up with the hottest trends transforming filmmaking south of the Sahara.
Attached to the historic Martin-Gropius-Bau, the hub offered a platform for African innovation, showcasing advances in virtual reality and 360° storytelling on the continent, new distribution and marketing models, and the growing number of mobile platforms looking to cash in on Africa’s smart phone boom.
It also underscored an ongoing commitment to African creative industries by Germany, guest country at the Discop market in Johannesburg this week. Buoyed by the support of cultural institutions and the federal government, Germany has long been one of the world’s strongest partners for African filmmakers.
The Africa Hub was a collaborative effort on the part of the Efm, in co-operation with the World Cinema Fund, Berlinale Talents »
- Christopher Vourlias
African Toons Take Off as Regional, Global Partnerships Blossom
9 hours ago
Africa’s toon boom takes center stage in Johannesburg this week, as the continent’s animation biz gets a boost from organizers of the Discop TV market Oct. 25-27.
A packed agenda will spotlight the bold strides being made by African animators to join the global conversation around kids’ content.
“We’re slowly building momentum, and we’re slowly building a platform for role-players across the continent to plug into,” says Nick Wilson, of the African Animation Network (Aan), an open-network platform for African animators and industry associations to connect and collaborate. “There’s going to be a real pan-African buzz represented at Discop this year.”
Anchoring the action on the floor of the Sandton Convention Center will be the African Animation Village. Sponsored by Turner Africa, the village will be the hub for a busy week that includes a roundtable discussion on developing local content through partnerships with international brands, led by Ariane Suveg, »
- Christopher Vourlias
Renee Zellweger to Play Judy Garland in London-Set ‘Judy’
10 hours ago
Renee Zellweger (“Chicago”) will star as Judy Garland in a new movie about the show business legend’s final concerts in London. Pathé and Calamity Films are behind “Judy” and principal photography is set for next February, in London.
Opening in the English capital in the winter of 1968 as Garland arrives for a five-week run of sell-out concerts, the movie will also recount the icon’s battles with management, and relationships with musicians and fans.
As the concerts get underway the star of stage and screen is 47 and exhausted, fragile, and wanting to be at home with her kids, casting into doubt whether the shows, at the Talk of the Town nightclub, can go on.
“Judy” is based on a script written by Tom Edge (“The Crown”) and will be produced by BAFTA winner David Livingstone (“Pride”) for Calamity Films. British stage director and Tony nominee, Rupert Goold, will direct. The producers »
- Stewart Clarke
IDFA’s Interim Artistic Director Welcomes ‘a Generation With Balls’ for Doc Festival’s 30th Edition
10 hours ago
For its last edition, IDFA found itself on the back-foot, after the double whammy of Britain’s Brexit vote and, rather more freshly, the shock result of the U.S. election conspired to overshadow even the most topical film in the selection. This year, things seemed to have settled down, although Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen, the festival’s Head of Industry, cautions against complacency. “You never know what might happen!” she laughs.
It’s a big year for Idfa, which celebrates two birthdays – 30 for the festival itself and 25 for the Forum. To celebrate the former, which also happens to see longtime Artistic Director Ally Derks stepping down, the festival has invited a roll-call of documentary legends, including Nick Broomfield, Frederick Wiseman, Kim Longinotto, Da Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, to select a film that has profoundly affected them and present it to a festival audience.
Also, as always, the event comprises eight competitive strands alongside the usual sections that showcase »
- Damon Wise
WellGo USA Buys Two-Part Korean Fantasy ‘Gods’
11 hours ago
WellGo Us has picked up North American rights to South Korean fantasy drama “Along With the Gods.” The film is one of the most expensive in Korean history and was highest profile launch at the film market that accompanied the Busan Film Festival last week.
Based on Ju Ho-min’s popular web cartoon of the same title, and directed by Kim Yong-hwa (“Mr. Go”), the film sees the story of a firefighter who is taken to the afterlife by three guardians. He has to complete seven trials before he can be reincarnated.
The fantasy blockbuster, made with a total budget of $35.5 million (Krw 40 billion), is set as a two-part feature film. The first has a theatrical release in Korea on December 20, while the second part will be released in summer, 2018.
The film’s cast includes some of the country’s top stars including Ha Jung-woo (“The Handmaiden”), Cha Tae-hyun (“Scandal Makers”), Ju Ji-hoon (Asura: The City of »
- Sonia Kil
Pablo Trapero, Martina Gusmán, Bérénice Bejo, Wild Bunch Team for ‘La Quietud’ (Exclusive)
13 hours ago
One of Latin America’s highest-profile filmmakers, Pablo Trapero, will direct Martina Gusmán (“Lion’s Den”) and Bérénice Bejo (“The Artist”) in “La Quietud,” an intimate family drama turning on two sisters’ reencounter and attempt at closure on a common troubled past.
Wild Bunch will handle international sales and looks set to introduce the new title to buyers at next week’s American Film Market.
Edgar Ramírez (“Carlos”) plays the older sister’s husband; Graciela Borges (“Chronicle of a Lady,” “The Swamp”), one of Argentina’s grand dames, is the sisters’ mother; Joaquín Furriel (“The Bronze Garden”) has also joined the cast.
Going into production in the week of Nov. 20, and shooting on a country estate in the province of Buenos Aires, “La Quietud” is set up at Trapero and Gusmán’s Buenos Aires production house Matanza Cine. Headed by Melita Toscan du Plantier and Marie-Jeanne Pascal, Paris-based Macassar Productions co-produces out of France. Viacom-owned free-to-air »
- John Hopewell