This is an awards season unlike any other. Last night, the 68th DGA Awards were held in Los Angeles and for the second year in a row, Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the top prize in feature filmmaking. Iñárritu won the DGA Award last year for directing Birdman, and won this year for directing The Revenant, which is still playing in theaters nationwide. Iñárritu won over industry favorites George Miller (of Mad Max: Fury Road) and Adam McKay (of The Big Short). Both of these guys could've/should've won and it would've been just as worthy. In addition to Iñárritu's, writer-turned-filmmaker Alex Garland won the inaugural award for Best First-Time Director for Ex Machina, which is the best new addition to the DGA Awards this year.
Good news to report, Nolan fans! Nolan's new favorite cinematographer is coming back to work on his next film. Christopher Nolan is reteaming with Swiss cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema for his next film currently titled Dunkirk, about the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk, France during the early part of WWII. This isn't surprising at all and it's exactly what we expected for this production, but this is the first time we've seen confirmation. The news is from a report on the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) website via The Film Stage announcing that van Hoytema is a now a member of the ASC (he's also part of the FSF and NSC in Sweden and The Netherlands). Hoytema last worked with Nolan to shoot Interstellar.
Onward to the sea! Deadline is reporting that director Bryan Singer is the latest to push forward on the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movie. 20th Century Fox is working on this remake, and they've been developing it for a long time. For years, David Fincher was working on a remake, and McG was attached early on with Will Smith as Captain Nemo. The report says that Singer, having finished worked on X-Men: Apocalypse, is "moving toward a fall production start [on 20,000 Leagues], and Singer will begin casting, full speed ahead." No more delays or problems? Will this actually go into production? It seems the answer is yes, Singer is even credited on the story for the new movie being co-written by Rick Sordelet & Dan Studney.
As the Sundance Film Festival was wrapping up with its awards in Utah, Hollywood was abuzz announcing the Screen Actors Guild Awards winners. The SAG Awards honor the greatest performances from 2015, as chosen by other actors which means this is one of the most definitive lists of the best performances. Actors know their profession better than anyone. This year, Leonardo DiCaprio took home his first SAG Award for The Revenant (after four nominations), and actress Brie Larson also won her first SAG Award for the film Room. Both of these films are nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars as well. Read on for the full list.
The official awards for the 2016 Sundance Film Festival were announced tonight at a ceremony in Park City. We've been anxiously awaiting the results of the awards at Sundance, and now we know who won big - The Birth of a Nation, the powerful directional debut of actor Nate Parker (read my review). The film won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize, which has been the case at Sundance for the last four years (last year Me & Earl & the Dying Girl won both). In addition, the other Audience Awards were the docs Jim: The James Foley Story and Sonita, and the film First Girl I Loved. Read on for the full list.
This sounds like it could be pretty good. After making Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal were planning to make a movie about POW Bowe Bergdahl. They've been working on it but with changes in Bowe's story and planned coverage in the upcoming second season of the podcast Serial (not to mention competing projects), they've decided to look for something else in the meantime. Deadline reports that Bigelow and Boal are next working on a film (currently untitled) that will be set around the race riots in Detroit in 1967. They're already pushing forward on pre-production with plans to release in 2017.
Now this film is a true classic! The BFI (British Film Institute) has announced a digitally restored re-release of Abel Gance's 1920's epic Napoleon, about the French conqueror. This project has been in the works for 50 years, with Academy Award-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow traveling the world collecting old prints of Gance's Napoleon in order to piece together this fully-restored version. The silent film runs a full 5 1/2 hours in total, and is accompanied by a live orchestra score. Ever since the previous restoration in 2000, the film version has only been screened 4 times in the UK. This announcement from the BFI is only for a UK re-release so far, but we also expect it to show up over here soon, too. It will premiere in November of 2016.
Briefly: It's official - Disney has moved the release date of Star Wars: Episode VIII from May 2017 to December 2017. The highly-anticipated sequel to The Force Awakens, being directed by Rian Johnson, was originally scheduled by Lucasfilm/Disney for May 26th, 2017. Now it has been rescheduled for release on December 15th, 2017. This puts it in line with the December release for The Force Awakens and the December release for Rogue One later this year. This also now pits Episode VIII to open head-to-head against James Cameron's Avatar 2, which is supposed to open Christmas 2017. A few other studios have shifted 2017 releases in response. The fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie will take over Star Wars' slot.
Bringing back the classic comedy! There's a new project in the works called Stan & Ollie, from filmmaker Jon S. Baird (of Filth most recently), and it's about the two legendary comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The report states that comedic actors Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly have been cast to play Laurel & Hardy, respectively, and will begin filming later this year. The project is being produced by Faye Ward's Fable Pictures for BBC Films. This seems like perfect casting, and a great opportunity to bring these two back into contemporary cinema. At least it's not a remake attempt like that awful Three Stooges movie.
It looks like Guillermo del Toro has chosen his next project, and it might not be the Fantastic Voyage (or maybe it will be both). The filmmaker has announced via Twitter and press release that he is adapting the book series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The screenplay for the feature film was written by John August. The press release states that "in addition to potentially directing, del Toro will also produce the film alongside Sean Daniel, Jason Brown and Elizabeth Grave." No other plot details have been revealed yet, but they do drop this freaky tease about a triptych: "so as to not remind people how badly 'The Red Spot', 'Harold' and 'The Wendigo' traumatized them as children." Ohhh goodness, yep, those freaky ass stories.
Phew! As we expected, the story from earlier in the week about George Miller not doing any more Mad Max movies was bogus. The quotes were real, but they were really shoddy quotes, from a rough interview. Which is what I was expecting considering it seemed ridiculous Miller would say outright he is done with Mad Max for good. Miller just earned an Oscar nomination this morning for Best Director of Mad Max: Fury Road, and the movie itself scored a Best Picture nomination. In a recent interview with The Wrap, Miller clarifies the situation and confirms that he's even considering two different sequel ideas coming up.
The complete list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (via oscar.go.com). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees this morning live via online/television broadcast. They've nominated many outstanding films, and most of the standout performances of 2015, though there are always more. There's no need to spend any more time introducing this, so let's get right down to it! This year, The Academy selected a total of eight Best Picture nominee films, including: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight. So without further ado, here is the full list of 2016 Oscar noms.
Some sad news to report on the same morning as the Academy Awards nominations. Actor Alan Rickman has died at the age of 69, after a short fight with cancer. This news also comes a few days after the death of legendary musician and actor David Bowie, who also passed away from cancer at age 69. Rickman was already a succesful actor on stage in the 1980's, but rose to prominence with unforgettable on screen roles like Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard, the Metatron in Dogma, Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest and of course Snape from the Harry Potter series. The BBC reports the news directly from his family. "The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends."
Watch out - Netflix is already buying up all the great films! The digital distributor has acquired a film out of Sundance 2016 an entire week before the festival even starts. Variety reports that Netflix has already acquired "worldwide streaming video on-demand rights" to Tallulah, meaning they'll handle the digital release, leaving the theatrical rights up for grabs. If a Sundance premiere is bought this early it's usually a sign the film is very good, or that it has a strong audience they believe they can capitalize on via Netflix. Tallulah is the feature debut of writer/director Sian Heder, a drama starring Ellen Page as a woman who takes a baby from a wealthy, negligent mother and passes the baby off as her own in an effort to protect her.