Production is getting under way in New Orleans on the Lionsgate action comedy “American Ultra” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.
Directed by Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”) and written by Max Landis (“Chronicle”), the story revolves around a seemingly hapless and unmotivated stoner (Eisenberg) whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is suddenly turned upside down when he discovers that he has a secret past as a highly trained, lethal sleeper agent. In the blink of an eye, he is forced to summon his inner action-hero in order to survive.
The cast also includes Topher Grace, Tony Hale, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman and Walton Goggins.
A PalmStar/Likely Story/Circle of Confusion production, the film is produced by Anthony Bregman (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), Kevin Frakes, Raj Brinder Singh, David Alpert (“The Walking Dead”) and Britton Rizzio, with Ray Angelic as executive producer.
Articles By: HollywoodNews.com
Production is getting under way in New Orleans on the Lionsgate action comedy “American Ultra” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.
2014 Billboard Music Awards Announce Performers: Luke Bryan, Imagine Dragons, John Legend and OneRepublic
dick clark productions and Billboard, the ultimate authority in music and home of the iconic Billboard charts defining success in music, announced today the first group of musical performers at this year’s Billboard Music Awards. Billboard Chart toppers Luke Bryan, Imagine Dragons, John Legend and OneRepublic will all join previously announced Jason Derulo, as performers in the live awards show, airing on Sunday, May 18, on ABC from 8:00 PM–11:00 PM ET, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Luke Bryan is a finalist in 6 categories this year, including Top Male Artist, Top Billboard 200 Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Country Album, and Top Country Song twice. Once for his hit “Crash My Party,” and again for “That’s My Kind Of Night.” Imagine Dragons tied with Lorde this year, for being a finalist in the most categories with 12. They’ve been recognized for Top Artist, Top Duo/Group, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Digital Songs Artist, Top Radio Songs Artist, Top Streaming Artist, Top Rock Artist, Top Rock Album, Top Hot 100 Song, Top Digital Song, Top Streaming Song (Audio), and Top Rock Song twice, for “Demons” and “Radioactive.” John Legend, who is currently on his sold out tour garnering rave reviews, is having huge success with his current single, “All of Me,” which is currently #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is his highest selling and charting single to date. Band OneRepublic became finalists in Top Duo/Group and Top Digital Song for “Counting Stars.”
Derulo appeared on “Good Morning America” yesterday, to announce his participation as a performer in this year’s Billboard Music Awards, and named five of the 40 finalist categories, including: Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Female Artist, Top R&B Artist, and Top Country Artist. The other 35 category finalists were announced via press release yesterday at 9:00 AM ET / 6:00 AM PT. The full list of finalists can be found at http://www.billboard.com/bbma.
As part of Citi’s sponsorship of the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Citi® ThankYou® cardmembers will have access to a ticket presale to the 2014 Billboard Music Awards Saturday, April 12 at 10 AM PST through Wednesday, April 16 at 10 PM PST at www.citi.com/thankyouevents. Citi cardmembers will be able to exclusively purchase tickets prior to the general public onsale, which begins April 17 at 9 AM local time on ticketmaster.com. The Citi ThankYou card rewards cardmembers for doing [...]
Magnolia Pictures announced today it has acquired North American rights to White Bird in a Blizzard, a suspenseful drama from writer/director Gregg Araki and starring Shailene Woodley, who is coming off her hit film Divergent, which has grossed $116.6 million to date.
Based on the novel by Laura Kasischke, the story is set in 1988 and revolves around a college-bound teenager whose life is deeply affected by the disappearance of her mother, played by Eva Green.
The ensemble cast also includes Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane and Angela Bassett.
The film was produced by Pascal Caucheteux, Sebastien K. Lemercier, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Pavlina Hatoupis and Gregg Araki (Kaboom). White Bird In a Blizzard is a Why Not Productions / Desperate Pictures / Orange Studio / Wild Bunch co-production.
“We are longtime admirers of the singular Gregg Araki, who brings his unique vision to this funny, sexy and haunting film,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “Shailene Woodley truly shines with a bold and fearless performance that showcases the depth of her talent.”
“I’m thrilled for this opportunity to collaborate with Magnolia, one of the boldest, smartest companies around. White Bird is a true labor of love for me and the most amazing family of actors I’ve ever worked with,” said Araki. “I can’t wait for the world to see the film.”
The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and VP of Acquisitions Peter Van Steemburg with CAA and Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers. Magnolia is eyeing a release for later this year.
Magnolia Pictures (www.magpictures.com) is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner andMark Cuban that also includes the Landmark Theatres chain and AXS TV. Recent releases include Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, the killer whale doc Blackfish, Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, Thomas Vinterberg’s Oscar-Nominated The Hunt, and hit documentaries Muscle Shoals, Jiro Dreams of Sushi and The Queen of Versailles.
Magnolia’s upcoming releases include Richard Ayoade’s dystopian vision The Double, the raucous Alan Partridge starring Steve Coogan, Steve James’ Roger Ebert doc Life Itself, Joe Berlinger’s Whitey Bulger doc Whitey, Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas, Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, Norwegian thrillers Pioneer and Ragnarok, and more.
Working Title’s romantic drama Theory of Everything starring Eddie Redmayne as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has been given a Nov. 7 exclusive engagements domestic release date by Focus Features, CEO Peter Schlessel announced today.
Academy Award winner James Marsh (Man on Wire) helms the film, which explores the excitement of the 1960s for Hawking as he studies at Cambridge University. At the dawn of his brilliant life’s work, Hawking falls passionately in love with arts student Jane Wilde and their relationship leads him through personal and scientific challenges and breakthroughs.
The film is inspired by Wilde’s memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen with the screenplay written by Anthony McCarten, who is the producer on the film with Lisa Bruce (producer of Working Title’s Mary and Martha) and Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Redmayne (Les Misérables) will play opposite Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) in the lead roles.
The cast of Theory of Everything also includes two-time Academy Award nominee Emily Watson and David Thewlis (Harry Potter). The creative team includes cinematographer Benoît Delhomme (Lawless), production designer John Paul Kelly (About Time), costume designer Steven Noble (Under the Skin), and film editor Jinx Godfrey (marking her seventh feature with Marsh).
Mr. Schlessel commented, “This extraordinary love story between one of the greatest minds of our time, Stephen Hawking, and his first wife Jane is profoundly moving and inspirational, with heart and humor.”
Focus Features’ successful collaborations with Working Title Films have included such hits as The World’s End, Pride & Prejudice, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; and the Academy Award-winning Anna Karenina and Atonement.
Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is one of the world’s leading film production companies. Founded in 1983, Working Title has made over 100 films that have grossed more than $6 billion worldwide. Its films have won 10 Academy Awards, 35 BAFTA Awards, and prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) makes, acquires, and releases movies from rising and established talent and filmmakers. The company is moving forward with a diverse slate of films, with most being wide releases appealing to a range of moviegoers. Staying true to the company’s roots, the slate will also include several specialty films each year.
Currently in release from Focus Features is the subversive comedy Bad Words, directed by and starring Jason Bateman. In addition to Theory of Everything, upcoming Focus films [...]
“Oculus” didn’t scare away the crowds as fans lined Hollywood Boulevard outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre Thursday night to get a glimpse of the stars attending the Los Angeles premiere of the much buzzed about horror film opening next Friday.
The red carpet showcased the film’s up-and-coming young cast: Karen Gillan, sporting short hair and head-to-toe sequins, along with costars Annalise Basso and Garrett Ryan.
Relativity Media is banking on a fright-induced comeback to spark the box office.
A carefully strategized ad campaign and social media marketing targeted toward a young, edgy demographic have given this film steam as it heads into it’s opening weekend.
The film, directed by Mike Flanagan, tells the story of a woman who tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
Photos by John Baxter
The reviews are trickling in on “Noah,” director Darron Aronofsky’s Biblical epic adventure starring Russell Crowe in the title role, and the critics, so far, are suitably impressed.
“Aronofky Goes Big and Bleak,” reads the headline on the Film School Rejects website.
“A lot of Noah is so dark that you wonder how a big studio let a director get away with making it, and it’s not just specific moments I’m talking about here,” writes reviewer Nathan Adams. “There’s a tension that runs through the whole film about who you should be rooting for, or it it’s even possible to root for anyone in this situation. Noah goes to such dark places over the course of the movie that it’s impossible to keep relating to him as a protagonist (sometimes to the point of comedy, intentional or otherwise) ,and it becomes necessary for the narrative to switch its viewpoint from character to character. There are moments of mass death so casually presented that they almost feel mindless, and then they get followed up by character beats so focused that they almost chastise you for getting caught up in the spectacle and forgetting to remain compassionate.”
He goes on to write: “Noah is the sort of movie that takes multiple viewings and a little bit of time to fully digest.”
Variety’s Scott Foundas writes: “Aronofsky’s uneven but undeniably bold, personal, visually extravagant take on the Old Testament tale will surely polarize critics and audiences while riding a high sea of curiosity to strong initial worldwide B.O.”
Foundas describes the depiction of the character Noah in the film as “neither the Marvel-sized savior suggested by the poster nor the ‘environmentalist wacko’ prophesied by some test-screening Cassandras, but rather a humble servant driven to the edge of madness in his effort to do the Lord’s bidding.”
Steven D. Greydanus, whose review appears in the National Catholic Register, writes: “For a lifelong Bible geek and lover of movie-making and storytelling like me, Noah is a rare gift: a blend of epic spectacle, startling character drama and creative reworking of Scripture and other ancient Jewish and rabbinic writings. It’s a movie with much to look at, much to think about and much to feel; a movie to argue about and argue with.”
He adds: “It’s certainly not the picture-book story that most of us grow up with, all cheerful ark-building, adorable animals and a gravely pious, white-bearded protagonist.”
Todd McCarthy, reviewing the film [...]
Lionsgate, whose recent success has been fueled by “The Hunger Games” franchise, has extended its long-term relationship with Grindstone Entertainment by signing new multi-year agreements with Grindstone President and CEO Barry Brooker and principal Stan Wertlieb, it was announced Thursday.
Grindstone’s films include the thrillers “Empire State,” starring Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, and “Frozen Ground,” starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack.
”They are an important part of the Lionsgate family and a key component of our slate,” Lionsgate Co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Steve Beeks. “We expect them to continue to serve as a reliable source of profitable films featuring world-class talent in the years to come and, as they continue to evolve as a label, we look forward to elevating our Grindstone relationship to the next level.”
It seems that some film fans are upset over Warner Bros.’ decision to cast Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily in a new version of the Peter Pan story.
More than 5,000 people have so far signed a petition calling for a Native American actor to be handed the role, according to Britain’s the Guardian.
“This casting choice is particularly shameful for a children’s movie,” the newspaper quotes the petition as stating. “Telling children their role models must all be white is unacceptable.”
Mara reportedly beat out Lupita Nyong’o, the Mexican-Kenyan star who won a best supporting actress Oscar for “12 Years a Slave,” and Adele Exarchopoulous of France, whose performance in “Blue is the Warmest Color” was widely acclaimed, the newspaper reports.
Hugh Jackman is also set to star in the Peter Pan film. Directed by Joe Wright, the film is expected to be released in July, 2015, the Guardian adds.
In a sign of Hollywood’s expanding ties with China, DreamWorks Animation and Chinese partners Thursday unveiled their $2.4 billion “DreamCenter,” an entertainment complex in Shanghai that is set to open in 2017.
The complex will contain a 500-seat IMAX cinema with international film festivals and red carpet events in mind, bars, restaurants and performance venues, according to the companies.
A “Dream Avenue” theater district modeled on London’s West End and New York City’s Broadway will also be part of the complex, according to the Associated Press.
The 40-acre site includes eight outdoor events plazas.
The project is led by “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek” maker DreamWorks Animation, Chinese investment fund CMC Capital Partners, whose owners include state-owned companies, and Hong Kong developer Lan Kwai Fong, according to the AP.
“This will become the world’s third great urban center of entertainment and arts alongside New York’s Broadway and London’s West End,” DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told a news conference, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The loss of big-budget movies like “The Hobbit” to New Zealand and “Iron Man 3” and “Oz, The Great and Powerful” to North Carolina and Michigan, is costing California nearly 50,000 jobs and $410 million in state and local tax revenues, according to a study released Thursday by the Southern California Association of Governments.
“Even the loss of only half of that spending cost the state a significant amount of economic activity,” the report states. “It is evident that (California) is losing ground to other states and nations.”
Among the findings: California continued to see its market share erode. The study found that 75 percent of the 41 live action feature films with production budgets in excess of $75 million were filmed outside of California in fiscal 2013.
The loss of “Iron Man 3” and “The Hobbit,” Parts 1 and 2, had a combined budget of $320 million, the study notes.
As it was, California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program returned an impressive 11 percent return on investment in its first three years and helped generate $4.3 billion in economic activity and supported 22,300 jobs, according to the study.
Among the findings:
*Under the first three years of funding, 109 film projects were funded and completed.
*Those projects generated $247.7 million in state and local tax revenues, $4.3 billion in economic output and $1.6 billion in labor income.
*For every $1 of tax credit certificate issued, total economic activity in the state increased by $19.12, total state gross domestic product increased by $9.48, and $1.11 was returned to state and local governments in the form of tax revenues.
“You cannot look at this program and not see it is a formidable economic and fiscal benefit,” said Hasan Ikhrata, SCAG executive director. “California is very much at risk of losing its film industry, and without this program the past five years, the losses would have been even more painful.”
The report was commissioned by SCAG, the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, and principally authored by Christine Cooper, vice president, economic and policy analysis, for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.