Robert Rodriguez in Talks to Direct 'Escape from New York' Remake
The original 1981 movie that was set in a future (then 1997) where Manhattan had been turned into an island-sized maximum security prison. When the president of the United States crashes into the decaying city, an outlaw is »
- Borys Kit
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Talks to Direct, Star in Musical Comedy With Channing Tatum (Exclusive)
Sources tell Variety that Gordon-Levitt is in early negotiations to direct Universal’s R-rated musical comedy with the running title “Wingmen.” He’s already attached to star in the movie alongside Tatum.
Universal landed the pitch that Gordon-Levitt and “21 Jump Street” scribe Michael Bacall hatched last year following a competitive bidding war that saw several studios chasing the project.
The story follows two pilots who crash-land in Las Vegas. According to sources, the film is in the vein of “Pitch Perfect” meets “Book of Mormon,” with the dup covering Top 100 hits with a touch of adult humor.
- Justin Kroll
‘Sing Street’ Star Ian Kenny Joins Han Solo Movie (Exclusive)
Ian Kenny, who broke out with his scene-stealing performance in “Sing Street,” has joined the ensemble of Lucasfilm’s Han Solo stand alone pic starring Alden Ehrenreich, Variety has learned exclusively.
Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Woody Harrelson, Michael K. Williams, and Emilia Clarke are already set to co-star in the Disney-Lucasfilm feature, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Jon and Lawrence Kasdan are penning the script.
The untitled Han Solo movie hits theaters May 25, 2018. Production is currently underway.
Details about Kenny’s character are unknown. Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an earnings call earlier this week that the movie would cover Solo’s life from when he was 18 to 24, revealing how he came to own the Millennium Falcon as well as how he met his Wookie sidekick, Chewbacca.
- Justin Kroll
Lola Albright, Sultry Actress in 'Peter Gunn' and Kirk Douglas' 'Champion,' Dies at 92
Lola Albright, the charming actress with the smoky voice who sang and starred on TV's Peter Gunn and was spurned by the back-stabbing Kirk Douglas in the classic 1949 boxing drama Champion, has died. She was 92.
Albright died Thursday in a home in the Toluca Lake enclave of Los Angeles, her friend, Eric Anderson, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. News of her death was first reported by the Akron Beacon-Journal; she was born and raised in the Ohio city.
Albright was perhaps best known for playing the sultry singer Edie Hart, the girlfriend of private eye Craig Stevens, »
- Mike Barnes
Colin Farrell in Talks to Star in Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’
Colin Farrell is in negotiations to star in Disney’s live-action remake of the 1941 animated classic, “Dumbo,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap. If the deal goes through, he will play the role of Holt, a widowed father of two kids from Kentucky. Eva Green and Danny DeVito already star. Tim Burton is set to direct and will reunite with Green for their third effort after previously working together on “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” and “Dark Shadows.” Also Read: Eva Green to Reteam With Tim Burton for Disney's 'Dumbo' Remake Ehren Kruger »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Lionsgate Plotting Six-Movie Arc For Power Rangers, Sequel May Enter Production Imminently
If you’re reading this on March 24th, you’ll likely find that there are two main options at theaters this weekend: Life, Sony and Daniel Espinosa’s starry space thriller in which Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal make first contact, and Power Rangers, the budding franchise-starter from Lionsgate and director Dean Israelite.
And make no mistake, Israelite’s revival is aiming to jump-start an entire series of live-action movies. Echoing previous comments made by Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, Power Rangers co-creator and producer Haim Saban told Variety (via Cbm) that plans have been drawn up for “a six-movie story arc.”
When asked about the creative process involved in rebooting a dormant ’90s icon, Saban went on to talk about the cutting-edge VFX coursing through the movie, and why audiences hold films to a higher standard »
- Michael Briers
‘Power Rangers’ Morphs to $3.6 Million at Thursday Box Office
“Power Rangers” earned $3.6 million at the Thursday previews, with the Mighty Morphins on track for a $35 million weekend. Heading into the weekend, independent trackers predicted the film will make $35 million in its 3,693 screen opening, while Lionsgate’s predictions were a tad lower, at $30 million to $33 million. Back in 2014, the live-action reboot of another classic kids TV show, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” had a preview gross of $4.6 million and went on to earn $65 million its opening weekend. Last summer’s “Tmnt” sequel “Out of the Shadows” grossed $2 million at the Thursday box office for »
- Beatrice Verhoeven
Cuban-American Actor Tomas Milian, Italian Genre Movies Star, Dies at 84
Rome – Versatile Cuban-American-Italian actor Tomas Milian, known for the intensity he brought to disparate roles, whether in dramas by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Soderbergh or as the Roman lowlife character that made him a household name in Italy, died Thursday. He was 84.
Milian died of a stroke in his Miami home, according to Italian news agency Ansa.
A Method actor who studied with Lee Strasberg, Milian played in about 120 movies during a career spanning six decades. Most of the films were shot in Italy, where he worked with directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini besides acting in Spaghetti Westerns, cop movies, and the franchise based on his Roman lowlife character “Er Monnezza” (“Mr. Trash”).
Later in his career, Milian moved to the U.S. where, among other films, he appeared in Sydney Pollack’s “Havana,” in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” and played corrupt General Arturo Salazar in Soderbergh’s “Traffic, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Bill Maher Gloats Over Trump Health Care Fail: ‘You Know How Putin Feels About Failure’
Shocking no one, Bill Maher gloated hard at the start of tonight’s episode of “Real Time” over the failure of Donald Trump and the Republicans to pass the “repeal and replace” health care bill the party has campaigned on for nearly seven years. “Oh, this looks bad for Trump,” Maher said in his opening monologue. “It does. You know how Putin feels about failure.” House Speaker Paul Ryan met with Trump today and told him that they were unable to whip the necessary votes from within the Gop and the best thing they could do was to pull the bill that. »
- Ross A. Lincoln
Power Ranger R.J. Cyler Joins ‘White Boy Rick’ Cast
The film stars newcomer Richie Merritt as Ricky Wershe Jr.and Matthew McConaughey as Ricky’s father, Richard Wershe Sr. Merritt was discovered in Baltimore during an extensive nationwide talent search.
Previously announced cast features Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rory Cochrane as the FBI agents who begin working with Wershe as a confidential informant; Brian Tyree Henry as a narcotics detective Officer Jackson; Bruce Dern and Piper Laurie as Wershe’s grandparents and Bel Powley as sister.
Cyler will portray Rudell Curry, one of the drug dealers. He previously starred in “Me and Earl and The Dying Girl” as Earl and joined the “Power Rangers” cast in 2015. Kyanna Simone Simpson (“Fist Fight”) has also joined the cast.
Set in 1980s Detroit at the height of the crack epidemic, »
- Dave McNary
WGA Negotiators Call for Strike Authorization
Leaders of the Writers Guild of America have asked their 12,000 members for strike authorization, following two weeks of negotiations.
The WGA leaders have asserted that the talks with the Alliance of Motion Pictures & Television Producers, which launched March 13, have been unproductive and contain two major rollbacks in the guild’s health plan. The AMPTP accused the WGA of breaking off the talks.
“First, they have demanded that we make cuts to the plan – $10 million in the first year alone,” the WGA negotiating team said in a letter to members. “In return, they will allow us to fund the plan with money diverted from our own salaries. More, they’ve demanded the adoption of a draconian measure in which any future shortfalls to the plan would be made up by automatic cuts in benefits – and never by increases in employer contributions.”
“This, too, is unacceptable. The package, taken as a whole, »
- Dave McNary
WGA Negotiators Call for Strike Authorization
In a step that does not mean a strike, but takes the town one step closer to one, the Writers Guild’s negotiating committee sent an email Friday evening to all members stating that the committee had voted unanimously to recommend to the union’s governing boards that a strike authorization vote be conducted. The move came after what the committee described as an "unacceptable" series of "no's" from AMPTP studio negotiators over the last two weeks of talks on a new three-year deal.
Such a vote is not a strike, but if held and successful — as is likely to be »
- Jonathan Handel
'Escape From New York' Remake in the Works
A remake of the cult classic film has long kicked around Hollywood, »
WGA Negotiating Committee Calls for Strike Vote
The negotiating committee for the Writers Guild of America voted unanimously on Friday to recommend that the unions’ leadership conduct a strike authorization vote, TheWrap has learned. Members of WGA West and WGA East have been in the midst of an initial two-week bargaining period with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) over a new contract for film and TV writers. The current contract expires May 1. “The WGA broke off negotiations at an early stage in the process in order to secure a strike vote rather than directing its efforts at reaching an agreement at the bargaining. »
- Thom Geier
Dakota Johnson’s ‘Suspiria’ Remake Gets Backing From ‘Manchester by the Sea’ Production Company (Exclusive)
K Period Media, the production company that financed “Manchester by the Sea,” is co-financing the upcoming remake of the horror thriller “Suspiria” with Amazon Studios, Variety has learned exclusively.
The remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 Italian cult classic stars Dakota Johnson as a young ballerina who travels to a prestigious dance academy in Europe, only to discover, following a series of increasingly grisly murders, that it’s a front for something far more sinister and supernatural. Jessica Harper toplined the original movie.
- Dave McNary
‘Chips’ Star Jessica McNamee on Dax Shepard’s Surprising ‘Serious’ Side (Video)
Australian actress Jessica McNamee has no trace of an accent in Friday’s police comedy romp “Chips,” where she plays an all-American highway patrol officer. She had high praise for Dax Shepard, who made his directorial debut on the project as well as starring and writing the script. “He wore quite a few hats,” McNamee said. “He was a bit more serious, I think, than in his regular life.” The star of USA’s “Sirens” has quite a few impressive projects booked in addition to the Friday release from Warner Bros. Also Read: Emma Stone's 'Battle of the Sexes »
- Matt Donnelly
Paul Ryan and Papa Roach’s ‘Last Resort': Twitter Loves a Story Too Funny To Be True
After the health care defeat suffered by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and President Trump, did Ryan really console himself with the music of Nu Metal band Papa Roach? No. But thanks to a hilarious Photoshop job by humorist Justin Halpern, Twitter has decided a story too good to be true should just be declared true. The background: Despite months of campaign promises, Ryan and Trump were unable to whip up the votes necessary to pass the Gop bill that would “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act — a.k.a. “Obamacare.” This even though their party controls both houses of Congress. »
- Phil Hornshaw
Who Is the Saban Behind ‘Saban’s Power Rangers?’ A Short Explainer
Wondering why the name “Saban” appears above the title in billboards and posters for the new “Power Rangers” film? People around Hollywood are familiar with the Saban name because of the Saban family’s philanthropy, which has earned them some very high-profile placements. But for anyone who still isn’t sure if Saban is a company or a person, here’s what Haim Saban did to earn the Tyler Perry treatment on “Saban’s Power Rangers.” Haim Saban is an Egyptian-born Israeli-American billionaire and media mogul. According to the Daily Mail, he immigrated to Israel when he was 12, attending school »
- Umberto Gonzalez
Team Alicia Keys ‘The Voice’ battle: Quizz Swanigan was wrong choice over Felicia Temple say 74% of readers
The fifth of the six battles on the March 20 episode of “The Voice” pitted two of Alicia Keys‘s artists — Quizz Swanigan and Felicia Temple — against each other. For their battle song, Keys chose Sia‘s 2011 track “Tightrope.” Temple spoke movingly of her personal connection to this song, which she had used as inspiration when undergoing treatment for cancer. However, she could […] »
- Paul Sheehan
Thomas Lennon to Star in ‘Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich’ (Exclusive)
The Cinestate production begins principal photography in Dallas next week. Jenny Pellicer, Nelson Franklin, Charlyne Yi, Alex Beh, Barbara Crampton, Tina Parker, Skeeta Jenkins and Michael Pare are also starring.
Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund (“Wither”) will direct from a script written by “Bone Tomahawk” screenwriter S. Craig Zahler. Dallas Sonnier and Amanda Presmyk are producing for Cinestate, along with Jack Heller of Assemble Media. “Transformers” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian of Di Bonaventura Pictures are also producers on the project along with frequent Laguna & Wiklund partner David Liljeblad.
Charles Band (the original franchise producer) is executive producing, as are Wayne Godfrey and Robert Jones of The Fyzz Facility, Jonathan Feuer of Flexibon Films, Red Sanders of Red Productions, Will Evans of Cinestate, Adam Donaghey, Johnathan Brownlee and Rick Prince. »
- Dave McNary
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