W MAGAZINE – To soundtrack his holiday ad for H&M, Wes Anderson chose John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s classic “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” and apparently that wasn’t the only collaboration between Anderson and Ono on tap.
The director formally announced his next project today. It’s an animated film called Isle of Dogs, and true to Anderson’s style, the voice cast is made up of a roster of A-list talent from all over the arts and entertainment spectrum. Most notably is the edition of Ono, her first voice acting role in a major film. It’s also her first acting gig since appearing as herself in a 1995 episode of Mad About You. She might have got a kick out of her appearance on The Simpsons, but she didn’t even voice herself that time.
The rest of the cast is made up of Anderson regulars including Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Edward Norton, and, of course, Bill Murray, who has appeared in every single one of the director’s films since 1998’s Rushmore.
In addition to Ono, newcomers to the Anderson-verse include Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Courtney B. Vance, Liev Schreiber and Greta Gerwig. The cast also includes Akira Ito, Akira Takayama and Koyu Rankin.
Anderson made the official announcement today in a vlog-style video that includes a cameo from Norton. The actor plays “Rex,” who he clarifies is “one of the lead dogs.” There’s about a second-long preview of what “Rex” looks like in the preview as well.
The world isn’t exactly hurting for more animated movies with celebrities voicing talking dogs. We already have All Dogs Go To Heaven, Cats & Dogs, Oliver and Company, The Secret Lives of Pets, Beverly Hills Chihuahua…well, let’s just say, it’s not exactly and undermined genre. (Although Pets was one of the year’s top-grossing movies.) What exactly is Wes Anderson going to bring new to the format aside from Yoko Ono?
Well, it takes place in England, and that’s about all Anderson had to say about the actual plot.
Anderson is also raffling off the chance for a fan to voice one of the dogs in the film. The $10 raffle tickets will benefit Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation so there’s that.
This will be Anderson’s first film since 2014’s Grand Budapest Hotel and his first animated feature since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. No word on when the film will be released, but production is already underway.
DEADLINE – Sony’s raunchy comedy Rock That Body is going earlier and now will debut on June 16 instead of June 23. Whenever pics move up, it shows the distributor is confident about the product, and in this case Sony moves the all-star Scarlett Johansson-Kate McKinnon-Zoe Kravitz comedy in a corridor where it’s the adult choice for the weekend against Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3. Had Rock That Body stayed on June 23, it would have been fighting five-quad sequel Transformers: The Last Knight.
After weeks of teasers and new details emerging, we finally have the first official trailer for Ghost in the Shell–and for all the controversy and criticism surrounding the film’s casting, there’s no denying that it looks incredible (visually), and hopefully other aspects of the project will hold up also. I’ve added screen captures from the trailer to the gallery, be sure to take a look.
Film Productions > Ghost in the Shell (2017) > Theatrical Trailer
DEADLINE – Imperative Entertainment just won an auction for the novel Tangerine with George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse on board to produce and Scarlett Johansson attached to star. The story is about two women whose lives intersect more than once and both times leads to the death or disappearance of one woman’s significant other. The deal was said to have gone down for mid-six figures against $1M+.
This is the second big literary purchase Imperative has made in only a few months, following its $5M deal in March to acquire David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: An American Crime and the Birth of the FBI. Eric Roth was brought in recently to adapt that book, which was in a bidding war at the time also with Clooney (and others).
Tangerine is the debut novel of Christine Mangan and comes after its publisher is Ecco/HarperCollins bought the publishing rights for $1.1M earlier this week before turning it out to set up as a feature film.
The mystery/thriller set in 1950s Morocco is about a woman named Alice Shipley who tries to leave both her past and her college roommate behind after the man she intends to marry suddenly dies. Years later, she reconnects with that same roommate, Lucy, and then Alice’s husband disappears. The mystery leaves Alice to wonder if Lucy is as dangerous as she thinks or whether she is imaging things.
The project will also be produced by Imperative partner’s Bradley Thomas and Dan Friedkin with Smokehouse’s Clooney and Heslov.
“Christine has created an evocative and electrifying novel,” said Friedkin. “We’re thrilled to not only be working with George, Grant and the talented team at Smokehouse Pictures but also one of the most skilled actors on the planet in Scarlett. This is an all-star team, and we can’t wait to bring this stunning tale to life.”
Jillian Apfelbaum, Imperative’s VP Content, will oversee development and also co-produce. The book joins a number of other recently acquired novels by Imperative, including the New York Times best seller We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Sand by Hugh Howey and Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.
Clooney and Heslov are repped by CAA along with Johansson, who also is repped by manager Rick Yorn of LBI Entertainment and attorney Kevin Yorn. CAA brokered the deal, and John Atwood negotiated on behalf of Imperative. The book deal for Tangerine was negotiated by CAA and the Book Group.
I’m so glad this project is still going ahead, it has been a while since we last heard about it so I assumed it was going to stay “in development” for some time. Should be a great role for Scarlett!
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – It has been nearly 70 years since Zelda Fitzgerald died in a fire at a hospital in North Carolina. But the Jazz Age icon and wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald is suddenly all the rage in Hollywood.
Competing films fronted by Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson, respectively, are on the fast track to being first at the same time that Amazon has its own series, Z: The Beginning of Everything, with Christina Ricci playing the socialite who was once dubbed by her husband as “the first American Flapper.”
But Zelda Fitzgerald was far more than just a pearl-twirling literary muse, as she previously has been depicted, which might explain why two A-list movie stars are jockeying to tackle the oft-marginalized figure. She was an accomplished author in her own right who competed with her domineering husband before her life descended into madness (she was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized).
The Lawrence project, titled Zelda, boasts some impressive names including Ron Howard, who is developing it with an eye to direct. Howard won best picture and director Oscars for A Beautiful Mind, which also centered on a historical figure (John Nash) with schizophrenia. Allison Shearmur, the former Lionsgate executive behind Lawrence’s The Hunger Games, is producing, while Cross Creek Pictures (Hacksaw Ridge) is in negotiations to finance. Emma Frost (The White Queen) wrote the screenplay, which is loosely based on Nancy Milford’s best-selling biography of the same name.
The Johansson project is titled The Beautiful and the Damned, a play on the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic The Beautiful and Damned, which was a thinly veiled chronicle of his own marriage.
Millennium Films, which is financing, has an ace up its own sleeve given that it has secured the cooperation of the Fitzgerald estate and will incorporate newly unearthed transcripts from a sanatorium in which Zelda Fitzgerald was confined that indicate her husband misappropriated his wife’s ideas as his own. Hanna Weg (Septembers of Shiraz) wrote the screenplay, and Millennium is currently circling a handful of directors for the gig.
Millennium president Mark Gill said Zelda Fitzgerald remains an enduring and compelling figure because she represents so many different personas.
“It was the height of the Jazz Age, so you have all of that glamor and sophistication and living large. But you also have the massive drama of fly high, crash hard,” he said. “She was massively ahead of her time, and she took a beating for it. He stole her ideas and put them in his books. The marriage was a co-dependency from hell with a Jazz Age soundtrack.”
Whether its Johansson or Lawrence who makes it into production first, neither would be the first to portray Zelda Fitzgerald on the big screen.
Most recently, Vanessa Kirby played her in a small role in the Colin Firth starrer Genius, as did Alison Pill in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. On the small screen, everyone from Blythe Danner to Natasha Richardson has tackled the literary heroine. But given the level of talent attached to the two latest films, the new Zelda Fitzgerald incarnation will likely offer a far more multilayered portrayal than ever before.
The first official teasers for Ghost in the Shell have been released, and if you haven’t seen them yet, they have been combined into a one minute video which can be viewed below. I love the visuals–hopefully we’ll be seeing more from the film very soon.
You may have noticed them already, but screen captures from the Blu-ray edition of Captain America: Civil War have been added to the gallery–including special features. Scarlett’s performance as Natasha is as ever, great to watch and I’m intrigued to see where her character goes from the events of this film. It’s just a shame that we didn’t see a whole lot of her as her role seemed somewhat smaller than in previous installments.
Film Productions > Captain America: Civil War (2016) > Blu-ray Screen Captures
Film Productions > Captain America: Civil War (2016) > Blu-ray Features – Deleted and Extended Scenes
Film Productions > Captain America: Civil War (2016) > Blu-ray Features – Gag Reel
Film Productions > Captain America: Civil War (2016) > Blu-ray Features – United We Stand, Divided We Fall
VARIETY – “Modern Family” star Ty Burrell has joined Scarlett Johansson in the raunchy comedy “Rock That Body,” with shooting underway in New York.
The cast includes Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz and Demi Moore. Sony has set the release for June 23, when it will open against Paramount’s “Transformers: The Last Knight.”
“Rock That Body” follows a group of five friends who rent a beach house in Miami for a wild bachelorette party that goes off the rails. The film is directed by Lucia Aniello from a script she wrote with her writing partner Paul W. Downs.
The script for “Rock That Body” appeared on the Black List in 2015. Sony picked up the project last year in an aggressive bidding war. Both Aniello and Downs will produce the film through their Paulilu banner. Matt Tolmach and Dave Becky will also produce.
Burrell is in the voice cast for Warner Bros.’ upcoming animated comedy “Storks.” He is repped by ICM Partners and Frank Stewart. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.
I have added screen captures from the Blu-ray edition of Hail, Caesar! to the gallery–including bonus features. Unfortunately, Scarlett’s role in the film is very small (she has just two scenes), so if you’re thinking of watching it solely for her, you’ll probably be a little underwhelmed by the size of her part. However, she is very funny and memorable as DeeAnna Moran, once again proving that she’s very capable of portraying comedic characters (she looks great doing it, too).
Film Productions > Hail, Caesar! (2016) > Blu-ray Screen Captures
Film Productions > Hail, Caesar! (2016) > Blu-ray Features – An Era of Glamour
Film Productions > Hail, Caesar! (2016) > Blu-ray Features – Directing Hollywood
Film Productions > Hail, Caesar! (2016) > Blu-ray Features – Magic of a Bygone Era
Film Productions > Hail, Caesar! (2016) > Blu-ray Features – The Stars Align
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Comediennes Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell and Ilana Glazer are joining Scarlett Johansson in the Sony comedy Rock That Body.
The project, whose title is tentative and was previously named Move That Body, already has Zoe Kravitz on the call sheet.
Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello, who work with Glazer on the cult favorite comedy television series Broad City, co-wrote the film. Downs also will star, with Aniello directing.
The script tells of five friends who get a beach house in Miami for a wild bachelorette weekend that goes completely off the rails. The all-female comedy is intended to be R-rated and a complement to the studio’s all-female reboot of Ghostbusters.
Matt Tolmach and Dave Becky are producing. Downs and Aniello also will produce through their Paulilu banner, with principal photography set to begin in late August.
Jonathan Kadin is overseeing for the studio.
McKinnon is the Saturday Night Live castmember whose film career is taking off. She stars in this summer’s Ghostbusters and is now filming the ensemble DreamWorks comedy Office Christmas Party.
Workaholics star Bell is also in Office Christmas Party and recently wrapped First Fight for New Line. The actress also had a key role in 22 Jump Street.
Glazer has been twice nominated for Critics’ Choice Awards for her work on Broad City, which she created with Abbi Jacobson.