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‘Captain Marvel’: Jude Law Lands Male Lead Opposite Brie Larson (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

Jude Law is in negotiations to play the male lead opposite Brie Larson in Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” sources tell Variety.

Ben Mendelsohn is on board to play the villain with “Half Nelson” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directing. Kevin Feige is producing.

Marvel had no comment.

Geneva Robertson-Dworet wrote the most recent script with “Inside Out” scribe Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman penning previous drafts, which follows Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien during an accident. The resulting alteration imbues her with the superpowers of strength, energy projection, and flight.

Law will be playing Doctor Walter Lawson, a.k.a. Mar-Vell, who becomes a mentor of sorts to Danvers as she tries to figure out her new powers.

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Feige announced that the superhero film will be set in the ’90s, before the Avengers ever thought of assembling, and [link=nm »


- Justin Kroll

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Box Office: Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Strums $2.3 Million on Tuesday Night

5 hours ago

Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” has opened with a solid $2.3 million on Tuesday night.

The animated pic is on par with Disney’s “Moana,” which earned $2.6 million from previews during the same frame last year. It went on to gross $82 million over five days.

The family film has been on track to take in $55 million to $60 million at 3,948 venues during the Thanksgiving holiday period from Wednesday to Sunday. Estimates indicate that the costly “Justice League,” which has pulled in a disappointing $111.9 million in its first five days, will come in No. 1 again with about $60 million to $65 million.

Coco” opens in nearly 2,800 3D locations, 106 premium large format screens, and 268 theaters offering the film in Spanish. Unlike “Justice League,” critics have embraced “Coco” (its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 95%).

Just before “Coco” began its Tuesday night previews, news broke that animation guru John Lasseter would be taking a six-month leave from the company over allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women. [link »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Tracking for Stellar $200 Million Opening Weekend

7 hours ago

Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is heading for a massive launch in the $200 million range during its Dec. 15-17 opening weekend in North America, according to the first estimates released by tracking services on Wednesday.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie picks up where 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis.

The new stars include Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. It’s the final film role for Fisher, who died last December.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set an all-time record in December of 2015, with a domestic opening of $248 million at 4,134 theaters for the first “Star Wars” movie in a decade. The first “Star Wars” spinoff, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” opened a year later with $155.1 million.

The debut for “Rogue One” — which starred Felicity Jones, es [link=nm »


- Dave McNary

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Idfa: ‘Time Trial’ Director Finlay Pretsell On Working With Tour De France Cyclist David Millar

20 minutes ago

Amsterdam — Sports films mostly follow a familiar arc, usually an underdog story in which the little guy fights back, or comes back, against extraordinary odds. At first glance, that would appear to be the case with Idfa Competition entry “Time Trial”, in which Scottish director Finlay Pretsell chronicles a heroic effort by professional road-racing cyclist David Millar to end his blemished career on a high by winning a place on the Tour De France for one last time.

Millar is a smart, intelligent and sometimes thorny subject, who becomes especially difficult on the subject of his arrest in 2004 – and subsequent suspension from the sport – on suspicion of doping. Millar was by no means alone, as the subsequent scandal involving world-famous U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong would show, but his confession cut short a once promising career. Millar has since renounced his drug use and has become an advocate for clean sports; “Time Trial” finds him facing a self-imposed »


- Damon Wise

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Ventana Sur Opens Shop for Latin American Film and TV

42 minutes ago

Ventana Sur, by far Latin America’s biggest movie-tv market, unspools its ninth edition over Nov. 27 through Dec. 1. Here are seven key points about this year’s market for visitors:

The big titles

Are foreign markets, like Hollywood, now suffering from a high-end TV diaspora? As more big-name foreign-language directors and actors are swallowed up by high-end TV, the number of big high-profile Latin American movies coming to the market may not increase. Several will be talked up or shooting during Ventana Sur, however: Pablo Trapero’s “La Quietud,” a sisters’ drama with Bérénice Bejo and Martina Gusmán; “You Shall Not Sleep,” from “Casa Muda’s” Gustavo Hernández, a Fox pick-up for U.S. and Latin America; and Ricardo Darin’s “Love at Last Chance,” a second-chance romance. One more big Argentine title may well be added to the mix before Ventana Sur.

Firing on multiple cylinders

Launched in 2009, Ventana Sur was first a sales market for Latin »


- John Hopewell

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Box Office: ‘Coco’ Topping ‘Justice League’ With $70 Million Over Thanksgiving Weekend

51 minutes ago

Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” has the edge over Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s “Justice League” in a race for the top domestic box office spot with about $70 million for the Wednesday-Sunday Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Early estimates on Wednesday showed “Justice League” matching forecasts, which had been in the $60 million to $65 million range at 4,051 locations. The most recent numbers showed “Coco” was performing above pre-opening expectations, which had been in the $55 million to $60 million range.

Coco” was taking in about $12 million on Wednesday at 3,948 venues, which included $2.3 million in Tuesday night previews. “Justice League” is pegged to gross around $10.3 million on Wednesday, bringing its six-day total to about $122 million.

Coco” is opening against the backdrop of Disney’s animation chief John Lasseter taking a six-month leave from the company over allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women. Lasseter, who runs both Pixar and Disney Animation, apologized in an email to those “on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or »


- Dave McNary

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Channing Tatum’s Yeti Fears Humans in ‘Smallfoot’ First Trailer

1 hour ago

Channing Tatum portrays a Yeti who’s clearly afraid of humans in Warner Bros.’ first trailer for the animated comedy “Smallfoot.”

Tatum voices a young Yeti named Migo who’s shocked to discover a human, which the Yeti community refers to as a “smallfoot” in a reversal of the Bigfoot legend. The trailer was unveiled Wednesday with the tagline “Yeti or not, here they come!”

Migo says of humans: “It’s a terrifying creature with perfect white teeth and breath that just smells all minty fresh and the only hair it has on its entire body is on the top of its head!”

The news of this “smallfoot” brings him fame and a chance with the girl of his dreams — but also throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.

James Corden stars as the smallfoot, named Percy. The »


- Dave McNary

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Comcast, Disney Keep Focus on 21st Century Fox Assets Despite At&T-Time Warner Battle

1 hour ago

Comcast and Disney are staying focused on the prospect of bidding for key 21st Century Fox assets despite the concern about the climate for media mergers raised by the Justice Department’s decision to fight the $85 billion union of At&T and Time Warner.

Sources say Fox is continuing to engage in very preliminary discussions with Comcast, Disney, and other potential suitors about a sale process of the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, the FX Networks and National Geographic cable group, Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu, and international TV platforms including Star India and its 39% interest in Euro satcaster Sky. A source said executives at Comcast and NBCUniversal are “being very serious” in studying the Fox assets and trying crunch the numbers with publicly available information. Fox is not believed to have progressed to the point of sending out briefing books or asking potential bidders to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Reps for Fox »


- Cynthia Littleton

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‘Logan’ Director James Mangold Sings Praises of His Production Team

3 hours ago

In Fox blockbuster “Logan,” the title character says, “I’m not whatever you think I am.” The same is true of the movie, an “X-Men” sequel that’s more classic Hollywood film noir/Western than superhero movie. Director and co-writer James Mangold talks about the contributions of his team of artisans in giving the film a different vibe from that of its predecessors.

Cinematographer John Mathieson

The idea was to produce a more natural film, on location, which avoided the fetishizing of superhero gear and vehicles that had become a trope of these movies. There’s a general look of what’s been successful in the last decade with superhero movies, and I definitely didn’t want that. I brought up Westerns like “Shane” and “Unforgiven,” but also “The Wrestler” or Clint Eastwood’s “The Gauntlet,” which felt very naturalistic, where lighting was natural or practical, not glammed up. The whole take of the script was that »


- Tim Gray

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IFP’s Gotham Awards Give Indie Films a Boost

3 hours ago

On Sept. 30, 1991, John Turturro and the late Jonathan Demme were the first of seven New Yorkers to garner a Gotham Award. Trophies were handed out at the Roseland Ballroom without much fanfare. The celebratory dinner, a fundraiser for the Independent Filmmaker Project, was a small, low-key, quirky event that didn’t draw mainstream media.

“It didn’t have that big huge red carpet thing that happens nowadays,” says former Ifp exec director Catherine Tait, who oversaw the creation of the Gotham Awards. “It was really intimate because the interest in indie filmmaking was not very heightened at the time.”

Cut to the same awards show at the same venue four years later. “Reservoir Dogs,” “Kids” and “Hoop Dreams” were officially part of the zeitgeist and Madonna was posing for photographers along with fellow Gotham Award guests Ted Turner and Jane Fonda. The Gotham Awards were officially a hot ticket.

“We were riding a wave of sudden consumer »


- Addie Morfoot

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‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ First Footage Shows Chris Pratt Petting Baby Raptor

3 hours ago

Executive producer and screenwriter Colin Trevorrow has unveiled the first footage from “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” showing Chris Pratt’s return as the raptor handler.

The six-second teaser shows a dino hatchling cuddling up against Pratt. “From our Jurassic family to yours,” Treverrow tweeted on Wednesday.

From our Jurassic family to yours. @FilmBayona @PrattPrattPratt @BryceDHoward @LeDoctor #Fallenkingdom pic.twitter.com/KiR3et9Vx1

Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) November 22, 2017

Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning for the sequel to the 2015 blockbuster “Jurassic World.” The new installment also stars Justice Smith, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, and Jeff Goldblum, who co-starred in 1993’s “Jurassic Park” and in 1997’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park,” but was absent from “Jurassic World.” He played quick-witted mathematician Ian Malcolm, who managed to survive in both films.

J.A. Bayona is directing the next installment. Trevorrow, who helmed “Jurassic World,” wrote the script for the sequel with Derek Connolly. The executive »


- Dave McNary

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Netflix Won’t Host Golden Globes Party With Weinstein Company

4 hours ago

Netflix will not hold a Golden Globes party with the Weinstein Company next year, Variety has learned.

“We have no plans to partner with other studios for upcoming events,” a Netflix spokesperson said.

The most public partnership between Netflix and TWC has been the Golden Globes party that the two companies have co-hosted for the last three years. The decision not to co-sponsor a party with the embattled Weinstein Company comes in the wake of the massive sexual-assault and -harassment scandal that has engulfed the TWC co-founder Harvey Weinstein and thrown the future of the film and television production company into question.

Netflix executives were asked in an interview last month pegged to the company’s earnings report whether the streaming service would be interested in buying the Weinstein Company. CEO Reed Hastings all but rejected the idea. “It would be extremely unlikely for us to be a bidder for the firm,” he said.

In »


- Daniel Holloway

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Comedies Speak Truth to Power in Golden Globes Race

4 hours ago

Typically, the Golden Globe Award for best motion picture comedy/musical has been a mixed bag. Only once in the last decade has the victor — 2012’s “The Artist” — gone on to win the best picture Oscar. And, in 2015, “Birdman” lost to “The Grand Budapest Hotel” only to conquer the Golden Globe best pic drama winner “Boyhood” for top Oscar honors. Last year’s Oscar nail-biter pitted Globes comedy/musical winner “La La Land” against drama winner “Moonlight” — and the outcome of that contest produced an infamous finale to the night.

However, this year has flipped that script. The ugly duckling genre has transformed into a glorious swan with a juicy competition in the works. Front-runners include: “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Battle of the Sexes,” “The Big Sick” and “I, Tonya.” With other potential nominees “Downsizing,” “The Greatest Showman,” “The Disaster Artist,” “Baby Driver” and “Beauty and the Beast,” a vibrant category rises, frequently reflecting »


- Thelma Adams

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Scooter Braun’s Movie Business Expanding Well Beyond Justin Bieber

4 hours ago

In 2011, Scooter Braun made a splashy debut into the world of feature films, producing “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” concert documentary.

The movie, which carried a $13 million budget, grossed $100 million worldwide. 2013’s “Believe,” a behind-the-scenes look at Bieber’s rise to superstardom generated about $11 million in worldwide box office.

“Those films really gave us a taste of what we could do,” said Scott Manson, chief operating officer of Braun’s film operation, Sb Projects.

Braun was a producer on 2015’s quirky girl-group fantasy “Jem and the Holograms” but has branched out considerably since then by backing the indie drama “Burden,” starring Andrea Riseborough and Garrett Hedlund, who plays Mike Bruden in the story of an orphan raised within the Ku Klux Klan who attempts to break away after the girl he falls in love with urges him to leave for a better life together.

Burden” is directed by Andrew Heckler from his own script. The producer »


- Dave McNary

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Murdoch Sale Talks Underscore Digital’s Effect in Disrupting Hollywood

4 hours ago

Industry veterans are struggling to wrap their heads around a notion that would have seemed laughable a year ago: Rupert Murdoch, a seller?

The heightened level of activity around the possible sale of some big 21st Century Fox assets is forcing Hollywood to confront the harsh reality of what some are calling the “Faang” effect: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google have plowed into the content and distribution business and are reinventing it on their own terms.

The tech giants are fearsome competitors not only because they have far more ready cash than traditional media players to invest in the hunt for audiences. Facebook, Apple and Amazon in particular operate in fundamentally different businesses from NBC, HBO, Paramount Pictures, Comcast and the like. They have balance sheets enormous enough to make spending a few billion dollars a year on content a loss leader to fuel other strategic and financial goals — such as selling iPhones or Amazon Prime memberships »


- Cynthia Littleton

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Cannes Film Festival Tweaks Dates of 71st Edition to Kick Off One Day Earlier

5 hours ago

The Cannes Film Festival is set to host its 71st edition from May 8 to May 19, 2018, kicking off a day earlier in the week than in previous years.

The opening gala will take place on Tuesday evening (May 8), while the awards ceremony will be on Saturday (May 19). The length of the festival will remain unchanged.

Cannes said that bowing on a Tuesday will allow the festival to host an additional gala evening before the first weekend and to organize previews of the opening film throughout France. The festival also said that having the awards ceremony on Saturday evening would increase its prestige and give it a greater exposure.

“Following 2017’s anniversary edition, the festival is beginning a new period in its history,” festival president Pierre Lescure said. “We intend to renew the principles of our organization as much as possible, while continuing to question the cinema of our age and to be present through its upheavals.”

Meanwhile, Canneseries »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Netflix to Make its First Original Colombian Series

6 hours ago

Netflix is wading deep into the Amazon to make its first original Colombian series. To be executive produced by Oscar-nominated Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent”), the still-untitled series is based on an original idea by Diego Ramírez Schrempp and Jenny Ceballos of Colombian powerhouse shingle Dynamo. Production is slated to begin summer 2018. The series will debut exclusively on Netflix worldwide in 2019. The eight one-hour series will be shot entirely in 4 K and produced in partnership with Dynamo.

Series tracks a young detective and her partner who travel deep into the Amazon, on the border of Brazil and Colombia, to investigate a series of bizarre murders. They soon realize that there’s more intrigue to the jungle than the homicides, as they come across a mysterious indigenous tribe with an extraordinary secret that they will go to great lengths to protect.

“We are thrilled to be launching our first Colombian original, featuring great Colombian »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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Russell Simmons Accuser Says He Apologized to Her Privately

6 hours ago

Despite “completely and unequivocally” denying allegations that he sexually assaulted model Keri Claussen Khalighi when she was 17, Russell Simmons allegedly privately apologized to his accuser.

During an appearance on “Megyn Kelly Today,” Khalighi told the host that Simmons’ claim that what transpired in his apartment, where director-producer Brett Ratner was also present, in 1991 was “completely consensual” is “ludicrous.”

“Russell and I have actually had a face-to-face confrontation around this,” Khalighi told Kelly via video. “We’ve had phone conversations where we’ve had a conversation about what happened where there was no dispute of what we were talking about. We were both talking about what happened on that night and he actually apologized.”

“Part of what’s so confusing and re-traumatizing is what he’s speaking about privately with me is completely different than what’s come out publicly,” Khalighi continued. “And that’s the piece that’s been really, really, really upsetting, »


- Maane Khatchatourian

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Singapore Media Festival: Project Market Proposes Eclectic Se Asian Line-Up

7 hours ago

ScreenSingapore, the Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association and Ties That Bind have announced the 15 shortlisted projects for the Southeast Asian Film Financing (Saff) project market.

In keeping with the Singapore Media Festival’s 2017 focus on Indonesia, there are five projects from the country, including: “Lastri” from Adriyanto Dewo (“Tabula Rasa”); “Marangka: The Corpse Flower,” from Andra Fembriarto (“Under the Same Sky”); feature debutant Winaldo Artaraya Swastia’s “Stalker”; “The Hunted” from Delon Tio (“Mari Lari”); and “Yuni” from Kamila Andini (“The Seen and Unseen”).

Malaysian auteur Dain Said’s longtime producer Nandita Solomon (“Interchange”) makes her directorial debut with “And The Gods Rode Hornbills.” Shanjey Kumar Perumal, who made the Malaysian box office success “Jagat,” returns with “Ryder.” Also from Malaysia is “Wilderness” from Nadira Ilana (“The Silent Riot”).

There are three projects from the Philippines, including: “Eerie” from Mikhail Red (“Neomanila”); “Mina-Anud,” the fiction feature debut of cinematographer and documentarian Kerwin Go (“Eskrimadors”); and cinematographer and short »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Dominique Farrugia Exits EuropaCorp, Joins Studiocanal

8 hours ago

Dominique Farrugia, a popular French comedian-turned-filmmaker, has joined Studiocanal as co-managing director of productions.

A long-time collaborator of Luc Besson, Farrugia joins Studiocanal from Besson’s EuropaCorp, where he spearheaded the development and production of French movies, notably “Sous le meme toit” (which he directed) with Gilles Lellouche, and the upcoming comedy “CoeXister,”directed by Fabrice Eboué.

At Studiocanal, Farrugia will be in charge of developing and overseeing the production of French comedies that have the potential of attracting international audiences. Earlier this year, Studiocanal released French comedy “alibi.com.”

Farrugia will be working closely with Géraldine Gendre, who heads up French production and distribution at Studiocanal. He will report to Didier Lupfer, the head of StudioCanal, and Maxime Saada, the boss of Canal Plus Group. Farrugia will also act as film and fiction advisor to Saada.

Farrugia is the latest in a string of executives who have exited the financially-struggling EuropaCorp since September, following [link=nm »


- Elsa Keslassy

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