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Taika Waititi in Early Talks to Develop ‘Star Wars’ Movie

  • Variety
Taika Waititi in Early Talks to Develop ‘Star Wars’ Movie
Taika Waititi, director of “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Jojo Rabbit,” is in early talks to develop a new “Star Wars” movie, Variety has confirmed.

There are no further details about how far those negotiations are with Waititi, nor what his involvement might ultimately be. But hot off of six Oscar nominations for “Jojo Rabbit,” Waititi is one of the most in-demand filmmakers in the industry, and “Star Wars” is “Star Wars,” so there we are.

Waititi recently directed the season finale of “The Mandalorian,” Lucasfilm’s breakout series for Disney Plus, and he also played the droid Ig-11.

Given his recent history with the “Star Wars” universe, on Monday, Variety asked Waititi if he might be directing a “Star Wars” movie in the future.

“Oh, I don’t know anything about that,” Waititi said. “But ‘Mandalorian’ was my chance to work with some stormtroopers.”

But Waititi said he definitely would want
See full article at Variety »

‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ Gets Premiere Date at AMC

  • The Wrap
‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ Gets Premiere Date at AMC
AMC has set a premiere date for “The Walking Dead” spinoff series “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.”

The series will premiere Sunday, April 12 at 10/9c following “The Walking Dead” Season 10 finale. Subsequent episodes will air Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.

Here is AMC’s description for the spinoff:

“‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ expands the universe of The Walking Dead, delving into a new mythology and story that follows the first generation raised in a surviving civilization of the post-apocalyptic world. Two sisters along with two friends leave a place of safety and comfort to brave dangers, known and unknown, living and undead on an important quest. Pursued by those who wish to protect them and those who wish to harm them, a tale of growing up and transformation unfurls across dangerous terrain, challenging everything they know about the world, themselves and each other. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Punky Brewster’ Sequel Gets Series Order At Peacock

  • Deadline
‘Punky Brewster’ Sequel Gets Series Order At Peacock
Peacock, NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service, has ordered a 10-episode first season of Punky Brewster, with original series star Soleil Moon Frye set to reprise her role as the titular character who became a pop culture staple of the 1980s. The follow-up series to the 1984 NBC sitcom hails from Universal Content Productions (Ucp) and Universal Television, divisions of NBCUniversal Content Studios. It will premiere on Peacock when the service launches later this year. Punky Brewster previously had received a pilot order at Peacock.

Also returning to the series is Cherie Johnson, reprising her role as Punky’s best friend. Joining the series are Quinn Copeland (Waitress the Musical), Lauren Donzis (No Good Nick), Oliver De Los Santos (Occupation: Rainfall), and Noah Cottrell (Skyscraper). Freddie Prinze Jr. (I Know What You Did Last Summer) guest stars in the pilot as Punky’s ex-husband.

“I am beyond thrilled and honored to be bringing Punky back!
See full article at Deadline »

Zoey Deutch Comedy ‘Buffaloed’ Will Eliminate $1.5 Million in Medical Debt (Exclusive)

Zoey Deutch Comedy ‘Buffaloed’ Will Eliminate $1.5 Million in Medical Debt (Exclusive)
This is not your typical promotion.

Most movies rely on trailers and junkets and movie posters to get the word out. Not “Buffaloed,” the upcoming Zoey Deutch comedy about a hustler who turns to debt collecting to get out of her dead-end life in Buffalo, N.Y.

Magnolia Pictures, the indie studio behind the movie, is partnering with non-profit Rip Medical Debt to eliminate $1.5 million worth of medical debt. “Buffaloed” opens Feb. 14 in theaters and on demand.

Rip Medical Debt is a national 501c3 that uses donations to purchase bundled medical debt portfolios that have gone through collection agencies for months or years. Using third-party credit data providers, it targets debts specifically incurred by people facing financial hardship, and then forgives them for a fraction of the initial cost. There’s a lot of people who could use the relief. An estimated 137 million Americans are struggling to pay medical bills,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Courtney B. Vance Boards Peter Moffat Drama ’61st Street’ at AMC

Courtney B. Vance Boards Peter Moffat Drama ’61st Street’ at AMC
Courtney B. Vance has found his next leading role.

The “American Crime Story” star has been cast in the upcoming AMC drama “61st Street,” which hails from showrunner and executive producer Peter Moffat as well as executive producer Michael B. Jordan.

“61st Street,” which has been ordered as a two-season television event series with eight episodes per season, is a courtroom drama that follows Moses Johnson, a promising, black high school athlete, who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. Taken by the police as a supposed gang member, he finds himself in the eye of
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Bad Boys For Life’ Rides to $6.3 Million at Thursday Box Office

  • The Wrap
‘Bad Boys For Life’ Rides to $6.3 Million at Thursday Box Office
Bad Boys For Life,” which reunites Will Smith and Martin Lawrence on screen for the first time in 17 years in the “Bad Boys” action franchise, earned $6.36 million at the Thursday box office in pre-shows starting at 4 p.m. from 3,154 screens. It opens on 3,740+ screens this weekend.

Sony’s “Bad Boys For Life” also opens against Universal’s family film “Dolittle,” which stars Robert Downey Jr. as the famous doctor who discovers he can talk to animals. Both movies head into the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday as Warner Bros.’ “Just Mercy” and Universal’s own “1917,” fresh off 10 Oscar nominations, hope to continue their strong performances in wide release.

Bad Boys” has a lot of cult support from fans eager to see Smith and Lawrence getting together for one last ride, and the studio is estimating a $38 million four-day weekend and possibly as high as a $40 million opening against a budget of $90 million.
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Ali & Ava’: First Look at Clio Barnard’s Just-Wrapped Fourth Feature

‘Ali & Ava’: First Look at Clio Barnard’s Just-Wrapped Fourth Feature
Principal photography has wrapped on “Ali & Ava,” the fourth feature from writer-director Clio Barnard, starring Adeel Akhtar (“Four Lions”) and Claire Rushbrook (“Secrets & Lies”).

The contemporary British love story follows Ava (Rushbrook), a respected matriarch on a predominantly white Bradford estate masking the scars left by an abusive ex-husband, and Ali (Akhtar), a charismatic son, brother, boss and landlord, still living with his estranged wife but hiding their separation from his family. Both lonely for different reasons, Ava and Ali forge an intimate bond with each other, despite their own fears about intimacy and the expectations of their families and communities.

Pic is produced by Barnard’s long-term producer Tracy O’Riordan of Moonspun Films, with financing from BBC Films, BFI, and Screen Yorkshire. Altitude is handling world sales and U.K. and Irish distribution.

Shooting recently took place on location in Bradford, the setting for Barnard’s previous films.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Meghan Trainor Shares Motivational New Song ‘Blink’

Meghan Trainor Shares Motivational New Song ‘Blink’
Meghan Trainor released her latest Treat Myself single, “Blink,” on Friday.

A motivational anthem, the track features Trainor singing over a dubstep-inspired production about her newfound confidence: “The only one left/They don’t make ’em like this, oh/I’m an innocent bad bitch/So don’t even wink, watch out, watch out for me.”

Trainor’s latest album Treat Myself is out January 31st. She previously released the singles “Wave” featuring Mike Sabath, “Workin’ On It” featuring Lennon Stella and Sasha Sloan, “Evil Twin” and her 2018 single “No Excuses,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Netflix Bows French Office With a Bang, Unveils New Shows

Netflix continued to make strides in its European expansion on Thursday, unveiling a swanky multi-floor Paris office and announcing 20 new French shows and movies in the pipeline.

Located in the heart of the city and staffed with 40 employees, Netflix’s office launch attracted French industry figures, including producers and filmmakers working with or looking to work with Netflix.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who was on hand at the event, said the service will be stepping up its investment locally and will target high-profile talent in 2020. New titles include the film “Big Bug,” directed by “Amelie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Penned by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Netflix Bows French Office With a Bang, Unveils New Shows

Netflix continued to make strides in its European expansion on Thursday, unveiling a swanky multi-floor Paris office and announcing 20 new French shows and movies in the pipeline.

Located in the heart of the city and staffed with 40 employees, Netflix’s office launch attracted French industry figures, including producers and filmmakers working with or looking to work with Netflix.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who was on hand at the event, said the service will be stepping up its investment locally and will target high-profile talent in 2020. New titles include the film “Big Bug,” directed by “Amelie” director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Penned by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant, “Big Bug” is a comedy set in the future starring Elsa Zylberstein, Isabelle Nanty and Manu Payet.

Jeunet participated in the first roundtable organised for the event, along with the directors Julien Leclercq and Leïla Sy, as well as rapper-turned-actor Kery James, and Sara May, director
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘The Goop Lab’: TV Review

Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘The Goop Lab’: TV Review
“Being the person people believe me to be,” Gwyneth Paltrow says in the first episode of her new unscripted series, “is inherently traumatic.”

The fact that this remark will likely induce eye rolls proves the point. Paltrow, in her period of fame as perhaps the most prominent embodiment of wellness culture, is followed as or more closely by detractors as admirers. Enduring life as both person and persona has its purposes though: For one thing, it can be weaponized. On “The Goop Lab,” Paltrow’s new Netflix show documenting her post-science pursuit of an optimized life, she’s a diffident presence,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Royce 5’9″ Tells a Harrowing Hip-Hop Parable in New ‘Over Comer’ Video

Royce 5’9″ unveiled a jarring new video for his song “Over Comer” that chronicles the rise of a young rapper and clearly alludes to the story of Tekashi 6ix9ine.

Directed by Cricket, the “Over Comer” video cuts between footage of Royce and rapper Westside Gunn performing the sprawling rap ballad and scenes depicting the tumultuous come-up of a young musician. While the musician’s story starts simply at a piano, he’s soon getting into a back alley brawl, while a studio session ends in his kidnapping. In the video’s final scene,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Doors to Nirvana: John Densmore, Robby Krieger Plot Rare Performance With Krist Novoselic

Next Thursday, January 23rd, the two surviving members of the Doors — drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger — will make a rare appearance together at the Homeward Bound charity concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles.

It’s been a couple of years since the pair last took the stage together, and one week out, Densmore admits to Rolling Stone that he and Krieger have yet to finalize a setlist — or even rehearse.

“I’m used to it!” Densmore says. “I was the one who did the setlists in the Doors,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

After a False Start, A Thousand Horses Regain Their Footing on New Album With Dave Cobb

After a False Start, A Thousand Horses Regain Their Footing on New Album With Dave Cobb
A Thousand Horses charged out of the gate when they released their debut country single “Smoke” in 2015. The mid-tempo ballad about an addictive relationship climbed to Number One and teed up the band to be Nashville stars: they did TV, toured with Darius Rucker, played Bonnaroo. But just like the hit song’s title, that quick success dissolved in a wisp. The follow-up “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial,” another mid-tempo track, failed to ignite, and when the group finally did release something that showed them to be the rock
See full article at Rolling Stone »

What Natpe Says About Turner’s Ambitions in Mexico

Madrid — Mexico is a magnet. Netflix produces near twice as many originals there (40) as in France (23) or Germany (23), according to Ampere Analysis. Among Latin America’s biggest cable powers with a 2019 24% audience share in Latin America, and five of its top 10 channels , not so long ago Turner Latin America hardly produced Mexican series.

Now it is now hunkering down in the U.S. neighbor, its Natpe slate of new originals led by a trio of Mexican titles, romantic dramedy “Amarres,” “The Cleaning Lady,” a thriller, and “Las Bravas,” about a women’s soccer team. Caught just before Natpe, Tomas Yankelevich,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Reveals Writer and Producer Panels — Exclusive

Under executive director Roger Durling, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (which launched Thursday January 15 and runs through January 25) has flourished by riding the awards season wave via starry onstage interviews with Oscar contenders. Every year, screenwriters, directors and producers promote their causes on panels, and the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Bruce Dern, Jeff Bridges, Melissa McCarthy, Isabelle Huppert, Viggo Mortensen, Rami Malek, Yalitza Aparicio, Glenn Close, Sam Elliott, and Richard E. Grant submit to in-depth tributes from Scott Feinberg, Leonard Maltin, and Pete Hammond, among others.

On the festival’s first weekend, I will have the pleasure of a wide-ranging conversation with Best Actress Oscar-nominee Scarlett Johansson and her “Marriage Story” costar, Best Actor nominee Adam Driver, named the festival’s Outstanding Performers of the Year.

And I will also moderate the annual “It Starts with the Script” panel on Sunday, including the writers of a range of awards
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Police Reveal ‘Significant Piece of Evidence’ in Long Island Serial Killer Case

Police in Suffolk County, New York unveiled a “significant piece of evidence” in the still-unsolved case of the Gilgo Beach, Long Island serial killer.

At a press conference Thursday, Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart released photos of a portion of a belt found at the crime scene that investigators believe belonged to the suspect. The belt is embossed with two letters that, depending on the vantage point, resemble either “Wh” or “Hm.”

“The Gilgo Beach investigation is perhaps the most well-known and complex case this department has ever undertaken,” Hart said,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Johnny Marr Teams Up With Hans Zimmer for James Bond ‘No Time to Die’ Score

Johnny Marr Teams Up With Hans Zimmer for James Bond ‘No Time to Die’ Score
Johnny Marr will join Hans Zimmer to compose the new score for the next James Bond film, No Time to Die, NME reports.

“Part of the legacy of the Bond films is iconic music, so I’m very happy to be bringing my guitar to No Time To Die,” Marr said.

Marr joins the project just one week after Zimmer was brought on to replace Dan Romer, who reportedly left No Time to Die over creative differences. While Zimmer has had one of the most illustrious careers in film composition,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

New Europe Film Sales Picks up Hamy Ramezan’s ‘Any Day Now’ (Exclusive)

Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw-based sales company has boarded Finnish-Iranian Hamy Ramezan’s debut feature “Any Day Now,” to be shown as a work in progress at Göteborg’s Nordic Film Market, Which Runs Jan 30.-Feb 2.

Ramezan’s drama, produced by Aamu Film Company (“The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki”), already enjoys a strong buzz from earlier industry pitch events such as Helsinki’s Finnish Film Affair where the film was handed the Best Project Award.

The realistic drama is inspired by the director’s own experience as a refugee who fled the Iran-Iraq conflict with his family and landed in Finland in 1990.

Co-written by Ramezan and Antti Rautava, the story follows 13-year-old Ramin Mehdipour, of Iranian origin, who is enjoying a perfect summer in a small Finnish town. A few weeks before the new school year, his family gets the news that the Finnish Immigration Service has
See full article at Variety - Film News »

How Shows Like ‘The Crown,’ ‘Outlander,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Are Driving Tourists to Locations

One of the unintended consequences of the boom in global production is a corresponding surge in film and TV tourism.

A spate of research in recent years has shown that viewers of popular films and TV shows are increasingly deciding to visit their locations, or to make a trip to the country where they were made.

Figures published last year by Northern Ireland’s tourism board, Tourism Ni, suggested that 350,000 people come to the British province every year because of HBO production “Game of Thrones” – or one in six leisure visitors.

Meanwhile, the U.K.’s tourism body, VisitBritain, found
See full article at Variety - TV News »
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