The 18th MAMI Mumbai Film Festival will honor Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke and Indian filmmaker Sai Paranjpye with ‘Excellence in Cinema’ awards.

The festival that runs Oct. 20-27 will open with actor Konkona Sen Sharma’s directorial debut “A Death in the Gunj” that bowed at Toronto and will play in Busan.

Two new gender-based awards have been instituted. In partnership with Oxfam India, the best Indian film on gender equality carries a cash prize of $15,000 (INR1 million.) The best Indian female filmmaker award has a cash prize of $22,500 (INR 1.5 million.)

Films in the ‘India Gold’ competition strand include Rohit Mittal’s “Autohead,” Manas Mukul Pal’s “Colours of Innocence,” Haoban Paban Kumar’s “Lady of the Lake,” Alankrita Shrivastava’s “Lipstick Under My Burkha,” Sushanshu Saria’s “Loev,” Prithvi Konanur’s “Railway Children,” Saumyananda Sahi’s “Remembering Kurdi,” Shirley Abraham and Amit Madheshiya’s “The Cinema Travellers,” Jaicheng Jai Dohutia’s “The Hidden Corner,” Satish and Santosh Babusenan’s “The Narrow Path,” and Milind Dhaimade’s “You Are My Sunday.”

The international competition strand includes: Jerome Reybaud’s “Jours de France,” Ana Barragan’s “Alba,” Davy Chou’s “Diamond Island,” Jordan Schiele’s “Dog Days,” Dren Zherka’s “Echo,” Natalia Almada’s “Everything Else,” Ralitza Petrova’s “Godless,” Ben Young’s “Hounds of Love,” Felipe Guerrero’s “Oscuro Animal,” Elite Zexer’s “Sand Storm,” Karl Lemieux’s “Shambles,” Pieter-Jan De Pue’s “The Land Of The Enlightened,” and Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel’s “When Two Worlds Collide.”


Refocusing on its core production and distribution activities, Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has entered into exclusive negotiations with Cinemas Gaumont-Pathe, France’s biggest exhibition chain, for the sale of Europacorp’s three-year-old exhibition business.

Aiming to drive into a premium end of the exhibition business, EuropaCorp launched its cinema theater investment in October 2013 at its Aeroville 12-screen multiplex in Tremblay-de-France, near Charles de Gaulle Airport, staging a glitzy premiere of “Malavita,” with Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert de Niro and Dianna Agron walking the red carpet.

Operating rather than owning the multiplex, EuropaCorp rented it from a real estate company, Unibail-Rodamco. It aimed to turn a profit on its investment Dolby Atmos sound and 4K 3D projectors, plus offer of gourmet food and a platter of Petrofina salmon and champagne for a $33.80 ticket price.

Move formed part of “a diversification strategy” allowing EuropaCorp “to generate recurrent revenues with very limited risk,” said Christophe Lambert, then EuropaCorp CEO. Listed on the Paris stock exchange, EuropaCorp has battled for years to explain the volatility of the film business to investors. In such context, recurrent revenues have an especial attraction.

Three years on, however, the cinema management business has failed to turn significant profits.

Operating Aeroville generates about €7.5 million [$8.4 million] in revenues, which means EuropaCorp more or less breaks even, according to the month or year, said Pavel Govciyan, an analyst at Natixis, a French bank.

“EuropaCorp wants to grow internationally, focusing units  film and TV production and distribution. Exhibition is a very domestic and not very relevant business, which takes up management time,” he added.

Talks between EuropaCorp and Gaumont-Pathe also take in operation of a multiplex in Marseille’s La Joliette urban development zone.

EuropaCorp’s unveiling of its exhibition business divestment comes just a day after it announced that Mark Gao’s Fundamental Films had acquired a 27.9% stake in the company, becoming its second biggest shareholder after Luc Besson, who has a 31.58% stake in EuropaCorp via his Front Line investment company.

“This capital increase will enhance EuropaCorp’s ability to produce and distribute English-language films and TV series around the world,” Besson said in a statement Thursday of the Fundamental Films deal.


The producers of the James Bond movies, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, want Daniel Craig to return as 007, according to a senior production executive on the franchise.

Callum McDougall, executive producer on the last four Bond films, told the BBC Friday that Craig is the “first choice” of Broccoli and Wilson, who run Bond’s production company Eon Prods.

McDougall, who has worked on nine 007 movies, was asked if Craig would be returning. “I wish I knew,” he said. “We love Daniel. We would love Daniel to return as Bond. Without any question he is absolutely Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli’s first choice. I know they’re hoping for him to come back.” He added that if Craig is willing to join the next Bond movie the role would “absolutely” be his.

Eon did not respond immediately to a request for confirmation.

Craig, who is the sixth actor to play Bond, started in the role with “Casino Royale” in 2006. That was followed by “Quantum of Solace” in 2008, “Skyfall” in 2012, and “Spectre” in 2015.

Whether Craig returns for a fifth time is down to the actor, it would appear. When asked by Time Out magazine in October 2015 if he could imagine doing another Bond movie, he replied: “Now? I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists. No, not at the moment. Not at all. That’s fine. I’m over it at the moment. We’re done. All I want to do is move on.”


ROME — The Rome Film Festival has unveiled the lineup of it’s 11th edition which will feature a selection of hot Fall fest circuit titles sandwiched between its opening film, Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” and the closer, Garth Davis’ “Lion,” plus 24 world premieres.

Films set to play in Rome that have not screened at other fests include Ben Affleck thriller “The Accountant,” directed by Gavin O’Connor, which will be Affleck’s first film since “Gone Girl.”

World premieres include Benedict Cumberbatch-narrated documentary “Naples ’44” by Italian director Francesco Patierno, based on the eponymous diary by British travel writer Norman Lewis about his experience in Naples as a British intelligence officer; Iranian drama “Immortality” by Mehdi Fard Ghaderi; and Chinese 3D martial arts blockbuster “Sword Master,” directed by Derek Yee.

Mexican director Natalia Almada’s “Todo lo demos” (“Everything Else”), which stars Oscar-nommed actress Adriana Barraza (“Amores Perros,” “Babel”) as a 63-year-old bureaucrat living in Mexico City, will screen in Rome shortly after its launch from the New York Film Festival.

Buzz titles segueing to Rome from Toronto comprise “Manchester by the Sea,” by Kenneth Lonergan; Nate Parker’s “Birth of a Nation”; “Genius” by Michael Grandage; “Hell or High Water,” by David Mackenzie; “Denial” by Mick Jackson; and Werner Herzog’s “Into the Inferno.”

At a packed presser in Rome’s Auditorium Parco Della Musica fest director Antonio Monda, now at his second edition, said he is continuing with his no-frills philosophy for the event which under his guidance has done away with the competition, juries, and opening and closing ceremonies. Monda said his selection criteria still privileges “variety [of genres] and quality” over star power and red carpet considerations.

However Monda has upped the fest’s star quotient this year. Starting with Tom Hanks who, as previously announced will be feted with a lifetime achievement award on Oct. 13, the fest’s opening day. Besides receiving a career nod, Hanks will be honored with a 15-title retro of films in which he has starred.

Monda has also booked Meryl Streep, David Mamet, Don DeLillo, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roberto Benigni, Andrzej Wajda, and Viggo Mortensen, among others, for onstage conversations.

Special events will include an open-air screening of William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” in the Eternal City’s Piazza di Spagna to celebrate the centennial of star Gregory Peck’s birth with his children, Cecilia Peck Voll and Anthony Peck, expected to attend and scheduled to hold a celebratory talk.

Oliver Stone is expected to make the trek to promote “Snowden” and also hold a talk within a sidebar dedicated to films on American politics which aims to stimulate discussions in Rome on the eve of the U.S. election.

The Rome fest has also recruited New York Times chief film critic A.O. Scott and Los Angeles Times critic Justin Chang who will make the trek and participate in a panel on film criticism and its role and relevance in the changing global media landscape.

Fest will run Oct. 13-23.


Fox’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” conjured up $1.2 million during Thursday night previews at 3,000 locations.

Following a recent string of underperforming films at the box office from Tim Burton — notably “Big Eyes” and “Frankenweenie” — “Miss Peregrine’s” could serve as at least partial redemption for the director as it heads toward a solid $30 million opening weekend. The film carries a $110 million production price tag and will open to 3,522 locations starting Friday.



Film Review: Tim Burton’s ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’


“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” produced by Chernin Entertainment, TGS and Tim Burton Productions, is based on a novel by Ransom Riggs in which a 16-year-old named Jake is forced to move to a mysterious island where he meets the titular Miss Peregrine. Jane Goldman wrote the film adaptation which stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.

According to Fandango, the film is outselling other recent adaptations of YA novels “The Maze Runner” and its sequel. “With the Halloween season upon us, film fans are on the hunt for these kinds of delightfully ghoulish tales,” said Fandango’s managing editor Erik Davis.

Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg’s collaboration “Deepwater Horizon” from Lionsgate made $860,000 at over 2,4000 locations on Thursday. The film is based on the true story of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson also star in the film distributed by Summit Entertainment. The film is a joint production between Participant, Di Bonaventura, Closest to the Hole and Leverage Entertainment.

Relativity’s long-delayed comedy “Masterminds” starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig also opens this weekend. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will expand from 52 theaters last weekend to 1,252 this weekend. “The Magnificent Seven” and “Storks” return for second weekends that will most likely keep both films in the top five. “American Honey” and “Denial” will open in limited release. This time last year Matt Damon’s “The Martian” topped the box office with $54 million.


The 2016 New York Film Festival is a big draw for the city’s movie lovers — and this year, it may attract a crowd of theater fans, too. From the premiere of a “Hamilton” documentary to an immersive, multiplatform storytelling experiment with live actors, here’s what theater lovers and performing-arts avids should check out at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual fest, which runs through Oct. 16.

1. Hamilton’s America
Oct. 1, 2, 15, 16
Can’t wait until this documentary, about Lin-Manuel Miranda and the road to “Hamilton,” debuts on PBS Great Performances Oct. 21? Festivalgoers will get a sneak peak of Alex Horwitz’s film in world premiere screenings at NYFF. Expect special guests Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.

2. Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened
Oct. 9, 10, 16
This one’s catnip for stage diehards. A new documentary about “Merrily We Roll Along,” the ambitious Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical that flopped on Broadway in 1981 but went on to become a musical-theater landmark. Lonny Price, a member of the original cast, directs, and Sondheim himself will show up for a Q&A with Price Oct. 9.

3. Hermia and Helena
Oct. 9, 11, 16
The title’s a giveaway: Matias Pineiro’s movie, combining American actors with members of the Argentinian director’s repertory company in Beunos Aires, takes its inspiration from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Agustina Munoz stars as a theater director visiting New York to work on a Spanish-language translation of “Midsummer.”

4. The Rehearsal
Oct. 5, 6
Set mostly in a drama school, Alison Maclean’s adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s novel centers on a group of theater students putting on a class project about a school sex scandal.

5. Manchester by the Sea
Oct. 1, 2, 11
This buzzy drama, starring a heavyweight cast (Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler, Michelle Williams), looks sure to be a major player come awards season — and it’s the work of writer-director Kenneth Lonergan, the playwright behind “This Is Our Youth,” “Lobby Hero” and the recent “Hold On To Me Darling.”

6. Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan
Oct. 9, 10, 13, 16
Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger’s documentary follows Whelan, a former New York City Ballet principal dancer, as she faces the transitions of age.

7. Kekszakallu
Oct. 4, 5
Argentinian director Gaston Solnicki’s movie, about a group of young women facing adulthood, takes its inspiration from Bela Bartok opera “Bluebeard’s Castle.” Musical passages from the opera recur throughout the film.

8. Sherlock Holmes & The Internet of Things
Oct. 1
This immersive story experiment, part of the festival’s Convergence series of multiplatform programming, sounds a bit like an elaborate party game, in which audiences interact with digital devices and a team of 20-30 technologists, production crew members and actors to solve a mystery in a “massive online/offline collaboration.”



LONDON — Jonathan Cenzual Burley’s “The Shepherd” hooked awards for film, director and actor at the 24th Raindance Film Festival, which wraps Sunday. The Spain/U.K. co-production is about a small-time farmer facing a land grab by a major construction firm.

The actress prize went to Camila Romagnolo for Argentina’s “Hortensia.” directed by Diego Lublinsky and Alvaro Urtizberea. The film’s magical realism and quirky humor is reminiscent of “Amelie.” It centers on Hortensia, whose father was recently electrocuted by their faulty fridge. She sets out to achieve her childhood goals: to create the most beautiful pair of shoes in the world, and to marry a man who is blonde like her father.

Rick Darge’s “Zen Dog,” a U.S. road movie about a man who discovers the art of lucid dreaming, received a special award for Film of the Festival. Raindance founder Elliot Grove said: “We chose ‘Zen Dog’ because of the spirit in which it was made. It takes on a meditative magic-carpet ride of the dreamworld and looks at how we can influence both our dreams and waking life. The film cleverly weaves in the spiritual with the philosophical.”

The jury included Stephen Fry, Anna Friel, Joanna Lumley, Imelda Staunton and Olivia Colman.

Film: “The Shepherd”
Director: Jonathan Cenzual Burley (“The Shepherd”)
Actor: Miguel Martin (“The Shepherd”)
Actress: Camila Romagnolo (“Hortensia”)
Screenplay: Joaquin del Paso and Lucy Pawlak (“Panamerican Machinery”)
U.K. Feature: “Gozo”
Documentary Feature: “Growing Up Coy”
Discovery Award (Debut feature): “Kamper”
Indie Award: “Selling Isobel”
Film of the Festival Award: “Zen Dog”
Short Film – “A l’Arrache” (“Snatched”)
U.K. Short Film: “Healey’s House”
Music Video: “Joy”


Nate Parker declined to apologize for a college rape trial that has shrouded the release of “The Birth of a Nation” in controversy during an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

The director, producer, writer, and star of the historical epic was ultimately exonerated of charges that he sexually assaulted a fellow student at Penn State. Parker did acknowledge that a sexual encounter had taken place — one that involved his roommate and “The Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin. However, he said the act was consensual. His accuser later committed suicide, years after dropping out of college.

“I was falsely accused…I went to court…I was vindicated,” Parker tells Anderson Cooper, according to a press release from “60 Minutes.” “I feel terrible that this woman isn’t here…her family had to deal with that, but as I sit here, an apology is – no.”



Nate Parker’s ‘Birth of a Nation’ Exploits My Sister All Over Again (Guest Column)


He said he hoped that anger over the accusations wouldn’t cause people to boycott his film about Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion.

“I think that Nat Turner, as a hero, what he did in history, is bigger than me,” said Parker. “I think it’s bigger than all of us.”

“60 Minutes did release footage of some of the Nate Parker interview, although the program did include an excerpt in which Parker discusses his Christian faith. In it Parker does admit that his behavior that night gave him pause when Cooper asks him if he feels he did something morally wrong.

As a Christian man, just being in that situation, yeah sure,” Parker said. ” I am 36 years old right now…my faith is very important to me…so looking back through that lens…it’s not the lens I had when I was 19 years old.”

“The Birth of a Nation” scored a record-breaking deal after it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival with Fox Searchlight beating out the likes of Netflix to land distribution rights for $17.5 million. It opens on Oct. 7. The film had been expected to be a major awards contender, but the furor surrounding the rape claims may sink its Oscar chances.

The “60 Minutes” interview airs on Sunday. Watch the trailer below.




“ClownTown” opens with the by now almost inevitable (and just as predictably meaningless) claim that it is “inspired by true events.” Actually, there have been some real-life events of late fit to inspire a horror film of this particular stripe: Multiple communities along the East Coast have reported scary-clown sightings at the edge of forests and in other isolated areas. The phenom has been understandably ominous to local residents, and widespread enough to attract national media attention. Authorities’ failure thus far to apprehend any perps has raised suspicions that the whole thing might be a publicity stunt — perhaps for Rob Zombie’s imminent killer-clown-athon “31,” some speculate.

However that creepy current cultural footnote resolves itself, the very thought of suddenly spying some Insane Clown Posse wannabe lurking on the far side of a parking lot or empty schoolyard is more chilling than anything in “ClownTown.” This regional slasher offers nothing recognizably based on a “true event,” but it certainly does borrow heavily from a lexicon of elemental genre clichés, with inspiration nowhere in sight. Indeed, the greasepaint-by-numbers terror is often so laughably rote, not to mention so poorly written and acted, that some viewers will find considerable entertainment value here — albeit very little of the intentional kind.

Fifteen years after a prologue in which a babysitter (Kaitlyn Sapp) meets the fate of many a screen predecessor, four youths head to a concert in Columbus, Ohio. They have character names, but for the sake of expediency, and to capture the script’s level of nuance, let’s just call them Generic Protagonist (Brian Nagel), Blonde Girlfriend (Lauren Elise), Comedy Relief Guy (Andrew Staton), and Brunette Girlfriend (Katie Keene). At a diner stop, the locals warn them away from alleged highway construction, recommending a detour through small towns. They end up stranded in Clinton (a fictive name choice hard to shrug off this election year), whose regular inhabitants are nowhere to be seen, and where some very bad clowns are soon chasing them around with various sharp and/or blunt instruments.

Why clowns? Jeff Miller’s script doesn’t explain that, and the tiny, fragmentary backstory it does provide manages to be both vague and ridiculous. There’s also the basic issue of why a town supposedly abandoned for years looks more like its residents just wandered off a few minutes ago, let alone how an entire populace could get offed over the years without, y’know, authorities taking notice. Of course, you don’t go to a movie like “ClownTown” for its gritty realism. You go for the scares, atmospherics, and hopefully a novel idea or two, even if only in the means-of-grisly-death department.

Alas, these are all areas in which “ClownTown” provides next to nada. It’s one thing to pay homage to famous prior horror films in various ways, as this one does (lifting a character name from “Halloween,” and so forth). It’s another to listlessly duplicate their effects, then string them together in scenes whose choppiness is further underlined by frequently ending in blackouts. Even the clowns feel like retreads: There’s the one that kinda looks like Marilyn Manson (David H. Greathouse as Baseball Clown), another like a “Clockwork Orange” droog (Ryan Pilz’s Crowbar Clown), and a third that appears to be a wrestler in whiteface (erstwhile WWF wrestler Chris Hahn as Machete Clown). They’re not terribly diabolical; they just smirk, hit people, then smirk some more. Two surviving older residents (Greg Violand and Maryann Nagel) briefly surface to deliver “crazy coot” turns that would not necessarily pass muster at more selective community theater auditions.

There are many Nagels involved here both behind and in front of the camera. While such family industry is to be applauded in theory, on the evidence given it is safe to say that a knack for suspense, the horror genre, and what passes for acting are not among their collective strong suits. Directing his first feature, Tom Nagel manages some packaging basics with a competence that the rest of “ClownTown” lacks: As editor, his pacing is brisk enough, and Ken Stachnik’s decent widescreen lensing provides the little atmosphere here with some decent lighting effects.

Those virtues are hardly enough to compensate for the scare-free proceedings’ general clumsiness. On-the-nose lines and their hapless readings often get unsought laughs. This is the kind of movie in which you soon realize the filmmakers were savvy enough to exploit their leading lady’s buxom figure. But they weren’t bright enough to realize that as costumed and shot, her frequent running-while-screaming would automatically turn into a cheesecake sight gag right out of “The Benny Hill Show.”

Film Review: 'ClownTown'

Reviewed online, San Francisco, Sept. 25, 2016. Running time: 85 MIN.


An ITN Distribution release of a Millman Productions presentation in association with Zorya Films of a Steel House production. Producers: Jeff Miller, Tom Nagel, Brian Nagel, Christopher Lawrence Chapman. Executive producers: Miller, Chapman, Ronnie D. Lee, Brian Nagel. Co-producer: Robert Kurtzman.


Director: Tom Nagel. Screenplay: Jeff Miller. Camera (color, widescreen, HD): Ken Stachnik. Editor: Nagel.


Brian Nagel, Lauren Elise, Andrew Staton, Katie Keene, Jeff Denton, Greg Violand, Maryann Nagel, Tom Nagel, Kaitlyn Sapp, David. H. Greathouse, Chris Hahn, Ryan Pilz, Beiki Ingram, Alan Tuskes, Christopher Lawrence Chapman, Thomas A. Nagel, Nathan Goins Jr., Ava Joy Anselmo.

Tim Burton offered a vague explanation of the lack of people of color in the ensemble cast of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” the adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ best-seller of the same name that hits theaters this weekend.

“Nowadays, people are talking about it more,” Burton told Bustle in response to a question about the lack of diversity. “Things either call for things, or they don’t. I remember back when I was a child watching ‘The Brady Bunch’ and they started to get all politically correct, like, ‘Okay, let’s have an Asian child and a black’ – I used to get more offended by that than just – I grew up watching blaxploitation movies, right? And I said, that’s great. I didn’t go like, ‘Okay, there should be more white people in these movies.'”

Samuel L. Jackson stars in the movie, and is perhaps the most predominately featured person of color in all of the 36 Burton-directed films. As Bustle notes, Billy Dee Williams was featured in 1989’s “Batman” and Michael Clarke Duncan was in 2001’s “Planet of the Apes,” both only in supporting roles. Jackson told the publication that he did indeed “notice” the lack of diversity in “Miss Peregrine,” but it obviously didn’t keep him from taking the role.



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“I had to go back in my head and go, how many black characters have been in Tim Burton movies?” he said. “And I may have been the first, I don’t know, or the most prominent in that particular way, but it happens the way it happens. I don’t think it’s any fault of his or his method of storytelling, it’s just how it’s played out. Tim’s a really great guy.”

Reviews for Burton’s next outing have been mixed. In his review, Variety‘s Peter Debruge said, “There’s nothing forced about the coupling of Ransom Riggs’ surprise best-seller with Burton’s playfully nonthreatening goth aesthetic and outsider sensibility, which should put the director back on the blockbuster charts.” Indeed, the fantasy is tracking to open at No. 1 at the box office, topping fellow newcomer “Deepwater Horizon.”

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” which also stars Eva Green, Judi Dench, and Asa Butterfield, will be released on Friday.


“Wonder Woman” just became wonderfully inclusive.

In an interview with Comicosity, Wonder Woman comics writer Greg Rucka discussed the new thematic elements his comic series following the superhuman Diana, including the much talked-about sexual orientation of its titular character. When asked about the subject, Rucka confirmed that his Wonder Woman is, indeed, queer.

“When you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, ‘How can they not all be in same-sex relationships?’ Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise,” he said.



‘Wonder Woman’ Director Patty Jenkins Responds to Claim That Film is ‘A Mess’


Rucka went on to discuss the dominating female presence in the story, as well as the romantic relationships between the Amazons.

“But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, ‘You’re gay.’ They don’t,” he went on. “The concept doesn’t exist. Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes. And it needs to be yes for a number of reasons. But perhaps foremost among them is, if no, then she leaves paradise only because of a potential romantic relationship with Steve [Trevor]. And that diminishes her character. It would hurt the character and take away her heroism… She doesn’t leave because of Steve. She leaves because she wants to see the world and somebody must go and do this thing. And she has resolved it must be her to make this sacrifice.”

DC’s upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie stars Gal Gadot as the central superhero. Chris Pine will play Steve in the film, which also stars Robin Wright.

“Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins, hits theaters June 2, 2017.


“Mad Men” actor Jared Harris and newcomer Adam Nagaitis are set to star in AMC’s upcoming anthology drama series, “The Terror.”

Based on the bestselling novel by Dan Simmons, “The Terror” centers on a Royal Naval expedition crew in the mid-19th century, searching for the Northwest Passage when the crew is attacked by a mysterious predator, forcing them into a suspenseful and desperate game of survival.

David Kajganich and Soo Hugh serve as executive producers, writers, and co-showrunners with Scott Free, Emjag Productions, and Entertainment 360.

The ten-episode series is set to premiere in 2017.

Harris can be seen next in the Brad Pitt World War II thriller “Allied” and also has the Netflix period drama “The Crown” coming out in November. He is repped by ICM Partners and Independent Talent Group.

For Nagaitis, the role is expected to be a break-through job for the up and coming actor as sources say it was a highly sought after part.

He was last seen in “Suffragette” opposite Carey Mulligan and recently wrapped production on “The Commuter” starring Liam Neeson. He is repped by Management 360 and Curtis Brown Group.


Hey girl (or guy), want to spend a day on the set of the new “Blade Runner”? Stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling are inviting one lucky movie-goer and a friend to witness all the action.

In a video released Thursday, Gosling shares a brief introduction of himself as he drives around set in his golf cart to share his partnership with the Enough Project to help support peace and justice in Africa.

“Now, if you’re so inclined and make an donation, we’ll enter you for a chance to win an opportunity to come out here to Budapest to visit us on set,” Gosling said. “You can have a nice lunch, show you around, watch us film a scene, maybe meet Harrison Ford. But I think the most exciting part is I might let you drive my golf cart.”

Along with getting the chance for the ultimate day in Budapest, the contribution will also help the Enough Project, Imerman Angels, and the Hummingbirds Foundation and their mission efforts going forward.

The upcoming “Blade Runner” is directed by Denis Villeneuve and produced by Ridley Scott.

Donations — and consequently, entries in the contest — can be made at

“Blade Runner” film will open in theaters in Oct. 6, 2017.


Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast.

On this week’s episode, Jenelle Riley and I take note of an interesting thread running through a number of the year’s standout female performances: motherhood. There are a number of examples: Nicole Kidman in “Lion,” Naomie Harris in “Moonlight,” Amy Adams in “Arrival”  — even earlier work like Susan Sarandon’s in “The Meddler” or Molly Shannon’s in “Other People.” And still to come is Annette Bening in “20th Century Women.”

Meanwhile, we take stock of the week’s biggest theatrical release, Peter Berg’s “Deepwater Horizon,” starring Mark Wahlberg. A gripping and straight-forward procedural outlining the deadly 2010 incident on the eponymous drilling rig that resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. waters. It’s a strong drama, but as far as awards goes, it could just be added ammo for another Berg/Wahlberg film later in the year: “Patriots Day.”

We also briefly touch on the New York Film Festival, which commences Friday with the world premiere of Ava DuVernay’s “13th” and will feature the debuts of Ang Lee’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women” and James Gray’s “Lost City of Z.”

Later on we have the legendary Jeff Bridges in the Variety studio to talk up not only his latest film, “Hell or High Water,” but a few other odds and ends in his illustrious career.

For more, listen to the latest episode of “Playback” below. Check back next week when we’ll be talking to “Sully” and “Bleed for This” star Aaron Eckhart, and be sure to subscribe!



In “Hell or High Water,” he stars as a West Texas Marshal on the hunt for a pair of bank robbers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster), and what’s most striking about the work is how at ease he is in the skin of the character. He seems to truly relish inhabiting the part, but that can be a difficult place to get to.

“Starting out, I find I’m quite anxious before the first couple of days of shooting, because the guy isn’t there yet until you’ve captured on film,” Bridges says. “Once you’ve captured him on film, even after one day, then you can start to apply more clay around this armature there.”

After winning the Oscar for 2009’s “Crazy Heart” and saddling up with the Coen brothers again in the 2010 western “True Grit,” two of Bridges’ films in a row hit the skids: “R.I.P.D.” and “Seventh Son.” Neither performed with critics or at the box office. How does he respond when that kind of thing happens?



Cannes Film Review: ‘Hell or High Water’


“Normally I’m on to something else right away,” he says. “When a movie comes out, it’s a bit like you’ve got a horse in the horse race and you go, ‘Come onnnnn R.I.P.D.! Come onnnnn — oh, shit,” and now you go on with the rest of your day. But both of those movies, man, they were disappointing on an artistic, creative level far more than a financial, box office deal. They tend to do this with these big budgeted movies. They castrate the directors. They think the suits have a better idea of how to paste the thing together, and they screwed up. Both of those movies, I think, if they had left it in the hands of the filmmakers, they would have been much better movies.”

And two years after Robin Williams passed away, Bridges remembers his “Fisher King” co-star fondly. He was asked about the late actor quite a bit around the release of “The Giver” back in August of 2014 because it was in the direct wake of Williams’ untimely passing, but he says he still thinks about him quite a bit.

“When I first got on board [‘The Fisher King’], I was a bit concerned because, while there’s a lot of funny stuff in it, there’s also some quite dramatic stuff,” he says. “I had this long monologue that I had to give to Robin while he’s in a coma there and I had these visions of Robin looking up at me and screwing around with me, trying to make me laugh, and the opposite proved to be the case. He was so supportive in the most zen-like way … I learned that his comedic talent was just one of many in his actor bag.”

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If you’re seeking a new home in the San Francisco area, you can officially make an offer on the house “Mrs. Doubtfire” was filmed in.

The iconic Victorian dwelling, cherished by fans of “Mrs. Doubtfire” and the late Robin Williams, is now for sale for $4.45 million. It served as the set of the the 1993 classic in which Williams played a British nanny impostor to gain access to his children following the divorce from his wife (Sally Field).

The current owner of the home, Douglas Ousterhout, purchased the building in 1997 for $1.395 million and has been said to be welcoming of fans who want to admire the home.

There have been changes made to update the house — including the outside being painted yellow — but the rest of the home is almost identical to the movie. The large four bedroom, two-story building was designed in 1893 by architect Joachim B. Mathison, who also designed the Burlingame Railroad Depot. Every aspect of the home was designed with light in mind.

“Because it’s built on a wide corner lot, the public rooms are large scale and the home has an open feel,” listing agent Steven Gothelf told SF Gate.

The property is located at 2640 Steiner St. in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. According to the listing, it’s within walking distance of shops, cafes of Fillmore, Alta Plaza Park, and highly ranked private schools.

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