As another film festival comes to an end, it's time to celebrate and commemorate with the announcement of the awards. The 66th Berlin Film Festival just ended (my own recap is coming soon), and the winners were announced at the Closing Ceremony, including the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film. That top prize was given to a film called Fire at Sea, a documentary from filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi about migrants crossing the Mediterranean and the refugee crisis affecting Europe and the Middle East. A very political choice, considering how important the issue is right now, but not unexpected. French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve won a Silver Bear for Best Director for the film Things to Come. See all winners below.
Two release dates have been announced for two of our most anticipated movies coming up in the next few years. First up, the action sequel John Wick 2 has been scheduled for release starting on February 10th, 2017 - a little less than a year from now. The film has already finished shooting, partially in New York City, and apparently the plot takes Keanu Reeves to Rome to kick some more ass. Stuntman Chad Stahelski from the first one is back again to direct this one. Next up, Warner Bros has officially set a release date for Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner sequel, untitled now, known simply as Blade Runner 2. That movie will open on January 12th, 2018, a few weeks after Episode VIII hits theaters in late 2017. I'm very excited for both.
Wait, wait, wait! Someone made an 8-bit video game about Leonardo DiCaprio's pursuit of Oscar glory?! Get out of town. This is totally awesome! The video game was made by The Line Animation at Electric Theatre Collective, and involves controlling various Academy Awards contenders on a race down the red carpet to nab that glorious golden statuette before anyone else does. It was obviously inspired specifically by the well-known fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated five times for an acting Academy Award, but has yet to win one. Until the Oscar ceremony comes around in a few weeks - this is definitely worth playing. Watch a game trailer and click below to visit the site to play Leo's Red Carpet Rampage. Have fun.
Last night, the United Kingdom had their big night for Hollywood at the 69th BAFTA Awards, honoring the best in film from last year (2015). These awards don't really have a major influence on the Oscars, but it's always interesting to see who our friends across the pond decide to hand out awards to. The selection of winners this year is quite diverse, with all of the best films from last year winning at least once in different categories. The Big Short won for Best Screenplay, Brooklyn won for Best British Film, The Hateful Eight won for Best Soundtrack, Inside Out won for Best Animation, Mad Max: Fury Road won for Best Hair & Make-Up, and The Revenant won for Best Film, just to start. Read on for the full list of 2016 winners below.
With just a few weeks left until the 88th Academy Awards, the Writers Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2016 WGA Awards. Last year, the big WGA winners were The Imitation Game, written by Graham Moore, and Grand Budapest Hotel, written by Wes Anderson, with The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz winning for Best Documentary. What have fellow writers determined to be the best scripts of 2015? This year's top prizes go to Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy for writing Spotlight, as well as to Charles Randolph and Adam McKay for writing The Big Short. Tough break for Aaron Sorkin.
Briefly: This is exactly what we expected, and it's good to see Warner Bros making a smart move. WB has shifted and pushed back the release date of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One adaptation from its original slot in December 2017 to spring of 2018 - specifically March 30th, 2018. This is mainly because Disney recently changed the release of Star Wars: Episode VIII (being directed by Rian Johnson) back to December 15th, 2017 (from May) - which was the exact same day that Ready Player One was originally set for release. It's always hard to tell whether Spielberg will make his release anyway, but this is just a big sigh of relief because there would be no point in seeing WB and Disney go head-to-head with these two massive sci-fi / fan-oriented projects. I'm excited to see both Star Wars and Ready Player One - three months apart.
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.