INDIEWIRE – Marvel’s long-anticipated “Black Widow” movie is inching closer to production with the reveal of the studio’s shortlist for potential directors. Deadline reports Australian filmmaker Cate Shortland is the frontrunner contender to direct the standalone movie, which will find Scarlett Johansson at the center of her own Marvel film. The report also has indie favorites Amma Asante and Maggie Betts high on the list of contenders.
Read More:Scarlett Johansson: A Standalone Black Widow Movie Needs to be ‘Groundbreaking’ and ‘Incredibly Badass’

The “Black Widow” standalone movie first made news at the start of 2018 with the news Jac Schaeffer had been hired to write the screenplay. Schaeffer is an up-and-coming talent who wrote the script for Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway’s female-centric spin on “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Rumors circulated in late April that Marvel was looking at directors such as “The Rider’ helmer Chloe Zhao and “Mustang” filmmaker Deniz Gamze Ergüven to direct. The studio is reportedly adamant about landing a female director.

Shortland is best known for the films “Somersault,” “Lore,” and “Berlin Syndrome.” The latter, a psychological kidnapping thriller starring Theresa Palmer, played at Sundance 2017 and earned strong notices for Shortland’s direction. Asante is the British filmmaker behind indie favorites “Belle” and “A United Kingdom,” while Betts made her feature debut with last year’s acclaimed nun drama “Novitiate.”

While Marvel has not officially announced the “Black Widow” film, it’s clear development is coming together. Scarlett Johansson addressed the standalone film rumors on “Ellen” earlier this year by saying she is on board for a “Black Widow” movie as long it’s “groundbreaking” and “incredibly badass.” The character appeared in this summer’s “Avengers: Infinity War” and is said to have a more sizable role in next summer’s fourth “Avengers” film.

Whoever lands the “Black Widow” gig will become the first woman to individually direct a Marvel tentpole. Anna Boden is co-directing “Captain Marvel” with Ryan Fleck.

IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment.

Labels: Projects, Rumored Roles

DEADLINE – Actor and Thor: Ragnarok helmer Taika Waititi inserts himself into his latest directorial effort in a rather memorable way. Having done such double duty on his films including Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows, he now is playing the role of the Man Who Wanted to Rule the World.

Waititi posted a photo on social media today of him in character as a version of Adolf Hitler. It shows the Fuhrer sitting at a dinner table with Scarlett Johansson — is he checking her out? — and Roman Griffin Davis, who plays a German boy in his imaginary friend Hitler’s army who discovers that his mother (Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their home.

Oscar winner Sam Rockwell and Rebel Wilson co-star in the film, which Fox Searchlight will distribute.

Waititi, who fielded multiple offers after last year’s Thor: Ragnarok hammered out a cool $854 million worldwide, wrote the script and will is producing Jojo Rabbit with Carthew Neal and Chelsea Winstanley. Kevan Van Thompson is the executive producer.

It’s a return to Waititi’s indie beginnings after that big-budget Disney/Marvel film. Here is the pic he posted on Instagram this morning, followed by another one from a few days ago in which he offers a proper Nazi salute as they film the “anti-f*ckface satire.” In the latter, he added the caption, “What better way to insult Hitler than having him portrayed by a Polynesian Jew?”

Labels: Gallery Updates, Jojo Rabbit, Projects

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER – Rebel Wilson is joining Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson in director Taika Waititi’s Nazi Germany satire Jojo Rabbit.

The Fox Searchlight project centers on Jojo, a young boy who longs to be part of the Hitler Youth and whose imaginary friend is Adolph Hitler. He discovers a Jewish girl living in his attic and, after initially trying to find ways to get rid of her, begins to see her as human.

Johansson is playing Jojo’s mother, a woman who is secretly working for the Resistance, Waititi himself is portraying the imaginary Hitler and Rockwell will play a Nazi captain who runs a Hitler Youth camp, with Wilson portraying an instructor.

Waititi is also producing alongside Carthew Neal and Chelsea Winstanley for Fox Searchlight. Production is expected to begin in late spring.

Wilson, who is repped by WME, will next be seen opposite Anne Hathaway in MGM’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake.

Labels: Jojo Rabbit, Projects

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Sorry James Cameron, moviegoers aren’t getting tired of The Avengers just yet. The first full day of box office ticket sales are in for Infinity War and the latest Marvel title is shattering records.

Infinity War finished its domestic opening day with $106 million (including $39 million from late Thursday screenings) becoming the second largest domestic first day in history — right in between leader Star Wars: The Force Awakens and third-place finisher Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Disney currently estimates the superhero mashup’s opening weekend to come in between the $225-$240 million range to top The Last Jedi‘s $220 million opening weekend to become the second-biggest opening weekend of all time (Force Awakens will remain at No. 1 with $248M).

Obviously, this also means Infinity War has the biggest opening for a Marvel movie ever.

Including international ticket sales, Infinity War is at $178.5 million through Friday with record-breaking openings in many territories.

For Disney, this is huge. With these numbers, Infinity War has pushed the studio over the $1 billion cumulative ticket sales mark this year in record time (topping the previous industry record of 128 days in 2016, which was also set by Disney).

To read review comments from top critics — with no spoilers — check out our Avengers review rundown. And if do want to talk Avengers: Infinity War spoilers, join us as we explore the surprise keeper of the soul stone.

Labels: Avengers: Infinity War, Projects

Our gallery has finally been updated with over 400 high-resolution photos of Scarlett from the Avengers: Infinity War global press conference and premiere, which were both held in Hollywood, Los Angeles. My apologies for the delay in adding them–as you may have noticed, our main site was offline for several days, which meant updates have been put back quite a bit. She looks beautiful, and I just love the new hair color–which I would assume is her her upcoming role in Jojo Rabbit. Many thanks to my friend Emily of Shailene Woodley Network for these photos. Enjoy!


Labels: Appearances, Avengers: Infinity War, Gallery Updates, Projects

Labels: Avengers: Infinity War, Projects, Videos

VARIETY – As his current film “The Meyerowitz Stories” readies for an awards season push, Noah Baumbach has lined up an all-star cast for his next movie.

Sources tell Variety that the auteur has tapped Adam Driver, Laura Dern, and Scarlett Johansson to star in his next film. Merritt Wever and Azhy Robertson are also on board.

Plot details are unknown at this time, but Baumbach is preparing to write and direct the film. Netflix, who is handling the distribution of “The Meyerowitz Stories,” is handling financing and distribution of this movie as well.

Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” stars Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller and has received some of the best reviews of Baumbach’s career.

Driver, who also appears in “The Meyerowitz Stories,” can be seen next in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” He was also recently cast in “Black Klansman.” He is repped by Gersh.

Johansson is currently filming “Avengers: Infinty War” and recently signed on to star in “Reflective Light” at Focus Features. She is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.

Dern is coming off her Emmy-winning performance for HBO’s “Big Little Lies” and is expected to participate in Season 2, which starts filming next spring. She is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment.

Baumbach is repped by UTA.

Labels: Projects, Rumored Roles

VARIETY – Scarlett Johansson is in early talks to star in the Focus Features drama “Reflective Light,” sources tell Variety.

Art photographer Gregory Crewdson is making his directing debut with Marc Platt producing along with Platt Productions’ Jared LeBoff. The film is an adaptation of the 2014 Carla Buckley novel “The Deepest Secret,” which Crewdson and partner Juliane Hiam have adapted.

The pic follows a teenage boy who suffers from a malady that makes him gravely allergic to sunlight. If Johansson’s deal goes through, she would play his mother, so devoted to her son’s care that she has alienated the rest of their family, creating an oddly sustainable nocturnal lifestyle for him at the expense of her own well-being. When a neighborhood girl goes missing, the balance that kept them afloat begins to unravel.

Focus acquired the rights to the movie right before this year’s Cannes Film Festival and hopes to start production next year.

The film would mark a change of pace for Johansson, who has been busy in action and comedy movies including this year’s “Ghost in the Shell” and the Sony comedy “Rough Night.” She can be seen next in “Avengers: Infinity War” and is also lending her voice to Wes Anderson’s animated “Isle of Dogs.”

She is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment.

Labels: Projects, Rumored Roles
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