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‘Captain Marvel’: Jude Law Lands Male Lead Opposite Brie Larson (Exclusive)

17 hours ago

Jude Law is in negotiations to play the male lead opposite Brie Larson in Marvel’s “Captain Marvel,” sources tell Variety.

Ben Mendelsohn is on board to play the villain with “Half Nelson” helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck directing. Kevin Feige is producing.

Marvel had no comment.

Geneva Robertson-Dworet wrote the most recent script with “Inside Out” scribe Meg LeFauve and Nicole Perlman penning previous drafts, which follows Carol Danvers, an Air Force pilot whose DNA is fused with that of an alien during an accident. The resulting alteration imbues her with the superpowers of strength, energy projection, and flight.

Law will be playing Doctor Walter Lawson, a.k.a. Mar-Vell, who becomes a mentor of sorts to Danvers as she tries to figure out her new powers.

At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Feige announced that the superhero film will be set in the ’90s, before the Avengers ever thought of assembling, and [link=nm »


- Justin Kroll

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Film News Roundup: DreamWorks Animation Campus Sold for $290 Million

12 hours ago

In today’s film news roundup, Griffin Capital has sold the DreamWorks Animation Studio Campus for $290 million, “Happy Death Day” tops $100 million in box office, and the comedy “Future ’38” gets sold.

Property Deal

Griffin Capital has sold the DreamWorks Animation Studio Campus for $290 million to Korea-based Hana Asset Management and Los Angeles-based Ocean West Capital Partners.

The five-building, 460,000-square-foot property is located in Glendale, Calif., and was built in 1997 for DreamWorks Skg, headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. The campus remained headquarters for DreamWorks Animation when it became a separate company in 2004 and produced the “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises. It will continue as home to DreamWorks Animation under the new owners.

On August, 2016, NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, making it a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Griffin Capital acquired the building in 2015 for $215 million. The seller was represented by the Shannon Team of Newmark »


- Dave McNary

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Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Tracking for Stellar $200 Million Opening Weekend

22 hours ago

Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is heading for a massive launch in the $200 million range during its Dec. 15-17 opening weekend in North America, according to the first estimates released by tracking services on Wednesday.

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie picks up where 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis.

The new stars include Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro. It’s the final film role for Fisher, who died last December.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” set an all-time record in December of 2015, with a domestic opening of $248 million at 4,134 theaters for the first “Star Wars” movie in a decade. The first “Star Wars” spinoff, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” opened a year later with $155.1 million.

The debut for “Rogue One” — which starred Felicity Jones, es [link=nm »


- Dave McNary

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‘Sweet Country,’ ‘Newton’ Share Top Honors at Asia Pacific Screen Awards

56 minutes ago

Australian Outback Western, “Sweet Country” was named best film at the annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards, on Thursday.

The film, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice festival earlier this year, is the second feature by cinematographer turned director Warwick Thornton. His first film “Samson and Delilah” won the Apsa best picture award in 2009, making Thornton the only two-time Apsa winner.

The Apsa awards were in their 11th iteration. They were presented Thursday evening at a ceremony in Brisbane, Australia.

The other big winner on the evening was India’s “Newton.” It earned a best acting prize for Rajkummar Rao, while Mayank Tewari, Amit V. Masurkar claimed the award for best screenplay.

Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev was named best director for “Loveless,” which had its premiere in Cannes. Zvyagintsev previously won the best film award with “Leviathan” in 2014.

The international awards were selected by a jury headed by film editor, Jill Bilcock. She praised »


- Patrick Frater

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AMC Networks International Picks Up Canal Plus Show ‘Ouro’ for Spain, Portugal

1 hour ago

AMC Networks International Iberia has acquired “Ouro,” the adventure-thriller series created by Fabien Nury for French pay-tv channel Canal Plus.

Sold by Newen Distribution, “Ouro” was directed by Kim Chapiron (“Dogpound”) and Philippe Triboit (“Spiral”) and produced by Mascaret Films.

Set in the Guyanese forest, “Ouro” follows the journey of Vincent, a 20-year-old geology student from Paris who goes to French Guyana to do an internship at a gold mining company and drifts into the dangerous world of gold trafficking.

The series will start airing on AMC Spain in January, followed by a roll-out in Portugal a month later.

“We are thrilled to bring this fantastic adventure drama to our Portuguese and Spanish audience” said Pilar de las Casas, VP of Cinema and Documentary Channels at AMC Networks International Iberia.

“Ouro” was acquired last week by Sony Pictures Television Networks for Continental Europe.

Related stories'Walking Dead' Suffers Another Ratings Drop in Episode 5'Big Little Lies'' [link »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Idfa Forum: ‘Documentary Makers Want To Go Behind The News’

3 hours ago

Amsterdam — The world’s geopolitical landscape may be changing on a daily and depressing basis, but a visit to this year’s Forum suggests it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of documentary. “Sunken Eldorado”, from France, offers a tale of modern-day piracy in the hunt for the Spanish Armada’s missing gold; Italian co-production “Maestro Morricone” tells the story of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite composer; and, from Norway, comes “Krogufant”, a film that takes a look at the emotional lives and intelligence of the animals we’re more used to eating than meeting.

In all, 58 projects came from 23 countries, each exploring different themes and formats. “It’s so wonderful to travel with all these filmmakers and see the world through their eyes,” says Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen, the festival’s head of industry. “The variety is huge this year, and it’s not only political topics dealing with society. Last year, what »


- Damon Wise

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‘The Other Side of Everything’ Leads Winners From a Politically Charged Idfa Lineup

3 hours ago

In a world presently riven with political conflict and polarized discord, you wouldn’t expect the world’s leading documentary festival to skimp on the tough issues, and so it proved at Idfa this year. The Amsterdam showcase’s 2017 lineup was a strong one, peppered with challenging perspectives and confrontations of past and living history, but “fun” was low on the agenda — rueful irony amid tragedy was, for the most part, as close as audiences could hope to get.

That was the tone maintained by the festival’s well-received selection of prizewinners, presented on Wednesday night, many of which tackled conflict and political turmoil with an empathetic but battle-wearied worldview. The top award in the festival’s feature-length competition, Serbian director Mila Turajlic’s “The Other Side of Everything,” had already premiered in low-key fashion at Toronto in September, but this thoughtful reflection on the still-unresolved legacy of civil war in Serbia found a more vocally receptive »


- Guy Lodge

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Ventana Sur: A Breakdown of This Year’s Blood Window Work in Progress Section

3 hours ago

Ventana Sur’s Blood Window has become one of Latin America’s most important launchpads for fantasy genre films. For the four days of the market, producers, distributors, sales agents and directors will come together for panels, debates, co-production meetings and pitching sessions.

This year’s works in progress selections have been divided into two groups. The first group is the Screenings and Work in Progress section, which was specially curated by José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Film Festival. The remaining works in progress are in the Video Room section.

Starting with the local fare, “Luciferina,” is the only Argentine work in progress at this year’s Blood Window. From director Gonzalo Calzada, the film is the story of Natalia, a teenage girl with a supernatural gift. After a family trauma, the origins of her ability must be faced, and a ritual executed to protect the girl from something which has been with her »


- Jamie Lang

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Idfa’s Shifting Perspectives Program – ‘It’s About Ownership Of Images’

4 hours ago

Amsterdam – “Every day, we are bombarded by images of the Arab world: bombings, shooting, hunger and hatred…” It is this “one-sided representation” that Idfa programmers Laura Van Halsema and Isabel Arrate Fernandez, together with Syrian producer and filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, sought to challenge when assembling Shifting Perspectives: The Arab World, a three-day symposium of sorts, in which 16 films of varying length and vintage were shown to a festival audience, usually with a lively discussion to follow.

The section is the second in a series that began in 2016. “Last year,” says Van Halsema, “we had a program, also called Shifting Perspectives, from which we basically wanted to look at what was left over from the history of colonialism – the slave trade, slavery between Africa as a continent and Europe and the U.S..

The programmers picked films from each of these regions, and then, as they were watching them, we realized right away that there was a blind »


- Damon Wise

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Idfa Film Review: ‘Of Fathers and Sons’

4 hours ago

The family that prays together stays together, with entirely chilling consequences, in “Of Fathers and Sons,” an intrepid, cold sweat-inducing study of Jihadi radicalization in the home from celebrated Syrian docmaker Talal Derki. Delivering on the auspicious promise of his 2013 debut, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “The Return to Homs,” Derki’s follow-up finds him again visiting his ravaged homeland to examine the making of an anti-government force: this time not spiky rebel insurgents, but unformed young boys under the absolute influence of their Al-Nusra fighter father. The result is as despairing as any portrait of close-knit family and dedicated parenthood can be, adeptly blending sensationalism with domestic intimacy, and sincerely eye-opening in its portrayal of inherited Islamist fervor.

Sure to travel the festival circuit as widely as Derki’s debut did, starting discussions along the way about complicity and trust in documentary filmmaking, “Of Fathers and Sons” has a combination of artistic muscle and frank »


- Guy Lodge

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‘Hogar,’ ‘Tiburones,’ ‘Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes’ at Montevideo’s Puentes

5 hours ago

Maura Delpero’s “Hogar,” Lucía Garibaldi’s “Tiburones” and José Luis Torres Leiva’s “Death Will Come and Will Have Your Eyes” will be honed at the second 2017 Puentes meet, the most prominent of Europe-Latin American co-production workshops.

Co-organized by Uruguay’s Mutante Cine production outfit, the event unspools in Montevideo over Nov. 23-27, prior to the 9th Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest movie market. Thanks to a special collaboration agreement, Puentes participant-producers can attend Ventana Sur (Nov. 27 – Dec. 1), in Buenos Aires. This is the fifth year that Montevideo hosts the Puentes event.

Founded in 2009 by Eave (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs), Puentes is a training workshop for Europe and LatAm producers, which took place for the first time in Uruguay in 2012.

An Arte Award winner at San Sebastian’s 5th Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum last year, Maura Delpero’s “Hogar” is produced by Italian Alessandro Amato’s Dispàrte in co-production with Argentinean Campo Cine. The first fiction »


- Emilio Mayorga

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Argentina on the Rise – Manuel Abramovich

5 hours ago

Cinematographer turned director Manuel Abramovich is a week away from his thirtieth birthday, but has a C.V. that would be the envy of many filmmakers.

His 2013 short took him to festival nominations and wins around the world from Los Angeles to Karlovy Vary. The next year he was nominated for best documentary short at Tribeca, along with co-director Juan Manuel Renau, for their film “Las Luces,” (The Lights). And, his third feature “Años luz,” which followed esteemed Argentine director Lucrecia Martel as she filmed this year’s Argentine submission for the foreign-language Oscar “Zama,” premiered at Venice this year.

2017 looks to be something of a banner year from the director. His latest feature documentary “Soldado,” got it’s first lofty bit of recognition at February’s Berlinale Festival where the film was in the running for both the Glasshütte Original Documentary Award, and a Crystal Bear. It then competed at San Sebastian’s Zabaltegi Section. This week »


- Jamie Lang

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Ventana Sur: Meikincine Acquires World Sales on ‘Al Desierto’ (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

Mar Del Plata, Argentina — Lucia and Julia’s Meik’s Buenos Aires-based Meikincine, a boutique sales company, has acquired world sales rights to “Al Desierto” (To the Desert), one of the only three Argentine movies in International Competition at this year’s Mar del Plata Festival, which opened Nov. 17.

Cinetren will release “To the Desert” on Nov. 30 in Argentina.

“To the Desert” is also just the third live-action feature from Ulises Rosell, one of the founding fathers of the New Argentine Cinema who, along with Daniel Burman, Israel Adrián Caetano and Lucrecia Martel, was one of the directors of 1996’s “Historias Breves,” a omnibus feature calling card for a new generation of Argentine directorial talent.

Though Rosell won a brace of awards for 2006’s “Sofabed,” his career has been lower-profile to date than these illustrious contemporaries, “To the Desert” marking by far his largest canvas for a theme which has marked some of his finest films, a »


- John Hopewell

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Film Review: ‘A Murder in Mansfield’

9 hours ago

The words “true crime” have never lost their dime-store tabloid allure. Yet most of us realize that when a story of extreme and shocking violence taps our voyeuristic curiosity, that doesn’t necessarily make it “low.” Ambitious documentary filmmakers have long understood that true-crime material, when treated as the dimension of the human experience it is, can emerge as something spookily resonant and artful.

Errol Morris’s “The Thin Blue Line” looked at murder in the heartland with a spirit that evoked Norman Mailer’s “The Executioner’s Song.” Werner Herzog’s “Into the Abyss” entered the minds of two vicious killers (it didn’t get as deep into the abyss as it implied, but it was a game attempt). “O.J.: Made in America” turned the Simpson saga into a charged excavation of the roots of violence. Now Barbara Kopple, the veteran director of documentaries about embattled workers (“Harlan County U.S.A.,” “American Dream”), pop-music »


- Owen Gleiberman

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Idfa Film Review: ‘Over the Limit’

11 hours ago

Nina Sayers, the tortured heroine of Darren Aronofsky’s prima ballerina psychodrama “Black Swan,” might just thank her lucky stars if she saw “Over the Limit,” another relentless portrait of young female performers mentally and physically savaged in the name of perfection. This is no heightened horror film, however. The intense abuse captured in Marta Prus’s brilliant, diamond-hard documentary portrait of a Russian rhythmic gymnast’s punishing road to the 2016 Olympics is all too vividly real — just watching it induces veritable stomach cramps, though it’s impossible to turn away from the film’s whipcrack construction and expert manipulation of perspective.

A former rhythmic gymnast herself, Prus seems to equally adore the exquisite physicality of the discipline and abhor the psychological torment that goes into it. That said, no interest at all in the subject is required to find “Over the Limit” coolly riveting: If anything, the less you know about its beleaguered heroine, Margarita Mamun, and »


- Guy Lodge

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Oscar Myth of ‘Pure’ Movies: Why Netflix, Amazon Should Be Recognized

12 hours ago

Some voters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences are worried about new delivery systems such as Netflix and Amazon; as Oscar voters, they don’t want to support a method that they believe endangers traditional moviegoing.

I hate to say this, but the major studios put an end to “traditional moviegoing” more than 30 years ago.

The voters’ fear of new delivery methods follows a long showbiz tradition: shake your fists at any major innovation, make gorilla sounds to scare it away, then eventually embrace it.

The Hollywood establishment was terrified of talkies in 1927, radio in the 1930s, and TV in the 1950s. Emmy voters ignored cable so a group invented the CableACE Awards in 1978; it took the Emmys a decade to eventually come around.

Oscar voters may worry about blurring lines, but they’ve been blurred for decades. Oscar is clearly the industry’s biggest celebration of movies — yet every major decision about the show »


- Tim Gray

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IMAX Opens First Virtual Reality Center in Europe

13 hours ago

IMAX and Odeon Cinemas have opened a virtual reality entertainment hub in Manchester, England, the first of its kind in Europe.

There are five IMAX Vr Centers around the world offering virtual reality movies, games, and experiences. The British one is located inside the Odeon at the intu Trafford Centre, and comprises 10 pods that allow multiple players or viewers to experience Vr in a social setting. IMAX said it wants to test Vr’s ability to woo younger audiences to the cinema.

“We are excited to join forces with our longtime partner Odeon to unveil the next evolution of immersive entertainment in Europe, starting with the launch of the IMAX Vr Centre in Manchester,” said Giovanni Dolci, managing director, Europe & Africa, IMAX Corp. “IMAX Vr brings the best Vr technology and content together in a highly social and interactive setting.”

IMAX has established a Vr Content Fund and will provide the content for the new center. The Vr »


- Stewart Clarke

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Why ‘Diamond Dogs’ Had to Premiere in Singapore

13 hours ago

Singaporean filmmaker Gavin Lim is delighted to have the world premiere of his debut feature “Diamond Dogs” at home at the 28th Singapore International Film Festival. The Sgiff, which kicks off Thursday, is part of the Singapore Media Festival.

“It’s important for my first film to premiere in Sgiff, instead of every Singaporean filmmaker’s strategy of going international first and losing that world premiere cherry elsewhere and then coming back to Sgiff after garnering some accolades,” says Lim. “I think it’s important to cultivate Singapore audiences to love our own first rather than seek validation from others. So maybe it is foolhardy and stupid, but I think premiering in Sgiff is important to Singaporean filmmakers. If Singaporean filmmakers are making a mark on the global scene after premiering in Sgiff it will make the festival all that more important.”

Diamond Dogs” is an action thriller where a man with nothing to lose is lured »


- Naman Ramachandran

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Singer, Star, Leading Asian Film Executive, Mona Fong Dead at 83

14 hours ago

Asia lost one of its top women film and TV executives with the death on Wednesday of Mona Fong (aka Mona Shaw). She died at 83.

After a glittering career as a singer, and then as an actress, she became a key figure in the running of first the Shaw Brothers movie studio, then at the top of Tvb, Hong Kong’s leading free-to-air TV station.

Tvb said that she died peacefully at 5.28pm local time at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, in Happy Valley, surrounded by her family. No cause of death was given.

Born in Shanghai in 1934 as Lee Monglan, the daughter of a nightclub singer, she moved to Hong Kong in the 1940s with her mother and quickly turned professional as a singer. She was noted for her singing abilities in Chinese and English, and often sang English covers of Chinese hits.

She met her husband, the legendary Sir Run Run Shaw after a performance »


- Patrick Frater

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Singapore Festival: Three Questions With Yuni Hadi

14 hours ago

Yuni Hadi, the Sgiff’s executive director, explains what hot at this year’s festival. And why.

Variety: What’s new at the festival in 2017?

Yuni Hadi: The introduction of the Southeast Asian Producer’s Network is a natural extension of the Southeast Asian Film Lab. We have the closed-door session where it’s a full day session discussing the success and challenges of a project, analyzing numbers and ultimately, having working producers share information that can used to achieve wider distribution for Southeast Asian independent films. For our first year we have guest speakers who are commissioners of cable and Internet platforms like Astro, Catchplay and HBO Asia.

We also have Midnight Mayhem which is the new branding of our late-night films which started to have a real following- with the filmmakers of “Salvage: Malay Wild” and “Mayhem” in Singapore to bring different perspectives of genre films

Variety: What is new and noteworthy in the past »


- Patrick Frater

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