While Ridley Scott's Biblical epic Exodus: Gods & Kings is still in theaters, the hype machine has already been started for the director's next film The Martian, and it's literally out of this world. Empire reports that the December 5th launch of NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), conducted as a 4-hour test flight 5600 miles above the Earth’s surface, had a capsule full of personal objects important to people involved in the project. What's cool is that one of the objects was the cover page of the screenplay for The Martian, written by Cabin in the Woods scribe/director Drew Goddard, with a drawing by Scott himself.
The awards continue marching on, and the latest development comes straight from The Academy. They have announced (via Variety) the nine official films shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film. That means these nine make the cut, and will proceed forward into the next round of voting before being eliminated again down to five films for the official nominations annoncement on January 15th. On one hand, one of my favorite films of the year, Force Majeure, made the cut along with Pawel Pawlikowski's Ida. However, my other favorites, Xavier Dolan's Mommy and the Dardennes‘ Two Days, One Night, did not make the cut - quite surprisingly since they're both such great films that deserve to be considered. See the full list below.
This morning, President Barack Obama participated in a news conference regarding the cyber attack against Sony Pictures after the FBI had officially made a statement implicating North Korea was responsible for the hacking of the motion pictures studio, the leaking of their documents and files online, and also the threat that resulted in Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg's comedy The Interview being pulled from a Christmas Day release in theaters in the United States. We've officially reached a place where foreign policy and the entertainment industry go hand in hand. But Obama simply wishes it was handled better.
After major movie theater chains opted not to book The Interview to open on Christmas Day amidst threats of terrorism against any theaters showing the film, Sony Pictures decided not to release the film at all, and that includes VOD and home video for now. There's been plenty of discussion and rage about this decision fueled by fear of Kim Jong-un and North Korea, who are believed to be the driving force behind these threats and the hack of Sony Pictures, because of their distaste for the comedy about an attempt to assassinate the leader. Now Hollywood heavy-hitter George Clooney weighs in and highlights an attempt to get Hollywood's key players to rally behind Sony so they didn't have to scrap the film's release out of fear.
After making his feature directorial debut with the poignant and hilarious satire Dear White People this year, director Justin Simien is ready to head into more broad comedy. Deadline reports Paramount Pictures has picked up the 2013 Black Listed comedy script Make a Wish from first-time writer Zach Frenkel with Simien attached to direct. In addition, Captain America: The Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie will star in the film as Butchie Jones, a football star who wants to grant the final wish of a dying 14-year-old who adores the athlete. However, his dying wish isn't just to meet the football player. Read on!
After the disaster that was Transformers: Age of Extinction, we know you're just chomping at the bits to get Mark Wahlberg back on the big screen as an inventor and friend of the Autobots. Well, the good news is that the actor is currently making the publicity rounds for this month's release of The Gambler, and of course he was asked about the future of the toy-selling franchise. MTV asked if he was coming back for the inevitable Transformers 5, and Wahlberg said, "Yeah, I committed to doing a couple more… you know I can’t speak for Mr. Bay, but something tells me we’ll be on the set soon.” Wait, what's that about Bay now?
Well, the good news bear just keep on delivering us sweet, sweet honey! Yesterday, following Sony Pictures' decision to pull The Interview from release on Christmas Day (with no plans to release the film on VOD or home video in the near future either), the Alamo Drafthouse revealed they were still going to have a little fun at North Korea's expense with a screening of Trey Parker & Matt Stone's comedy Team America: World Police, which features Kim Jong-un's father Kim Jong-il as a lonely puppet villain. This was only happening at the Dallas/Forth Worth theater, however, Deadline reports that the screening is canceled.
After teaming up with Red Granite to get the sequel Dumb & Dumber To off the ground, Deadline reports Jim Carrey is getting ready to reteam with the production banner for a new project. Deep Cover is a new comedy that was just picked up by Red Granite from an original pitch by Johnny Rosenthal, an up and coming writer who has a project called The Three Tenors in development at Lionsgate, a comedy called Iron Jack at Sony, and his work on Bad Santa 2 at Dimension. Unfortunately, the plot of this new original pitch is being kept under wraps, but it's likely a comedic approach to an undercover cop situation. More below!
Briefly: For those who didn't know, 20th Century Fox and New Regency were developing a thriller starring Steve Carell. We heard about this project back in October, but details were sparse on the story other than that it was a paranoia thriller. Now new details have emerged, but only because the project has been scrapped entirely. Deadline reports the film that was going to begin production in March, but the setting of the film was North Korea. And due to the recent uproar of threats to the US from the country due to the comedy The Interview, which has resulted in the film being pulled from theaters, the project is now dead.
Putting The "F" Back In Freedom. It is a sad day for movie fans in the United States, as Sony has officially cancelled the release of Seth Rogen & James Franco's new comedy The Interview thanks to hacker terrorist threats. Everyone has been following the Sony Pictures Hack story for weeks, as the studio was hacked and files have been leaking non-stop. Today, after movie theaters backed out due to an actual threat of harm to anyone attending screenings of the movie, the studio has decided to pull the release entirely. In response, James Wallace of the Alamo Drafthouse theater in Dallas / Fort Worth will be showing Matt Stone and Trey Parker's 2004 puppet comedy, Team America: World Police, instead. Take that, North Korea!
Yesterday, a message from the hackers responsible for releasing tons of documents, e-mails and more from Sony Pictures threatened actual violence yesterday to any theaters showing the controversial Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy The Interview when it's slated to hit the big screen on Christmas Day. In response to the threat this morning, and given the blessing by Sony themselves, most of the major theater chains across the country announced that they wouldn't be showing the film. Now Deadline reports that Sony has sent out a press release to scrap the holiday release of the film entirely for now. More below!
Back in 2011, when the idea of the MoviePass was introduced, movie theater chains across the country were enraged and wanted no part of cooperating with the company trying to deliver unlimited movies to theater goers. Then in 2012, the service hit the marketplace by using a debit card combined with an iOS app, and it's been up and running ever since. They've had some hiccups as far as their service goes, mainly the introduction of the 24-hour countdown between movie check-ins that ruins any chance for late evening into midnight double features, but now they might be improving by striking their first movie theater partnership.
For over 20 years now The Library of Congress has chosen a select group of films to be preserved in the National Film Registry, and this year's titles have just been revealed. Last year's additions included Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Disney's Mary Poppins and Michael Moore's Roger & Me. Now 25 more films will be preserved under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act as they have been deemed "a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history" and represent "the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant." So what made the cut?
Back in the summer of 2013, we heard that MGM was developing a Rocky spin-off called Creed that would focus on the grandson of Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers from the original film franchise) as he follows his natural instinct and talent to get into the boxing ring with champ Rocky Balboa as his mentor. Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and his star Michael B. Jordan were brought aboard the film, and Sylvester Stallone was even going to reprise his role as Rocky. Well, believe it or not, that project is still happening, and Deadline reports they've just landed Dear White People star Tessa Thompson in a role.