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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Movies

Danny Strong, Sydney Sweeney Join 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' (Exclusive). Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha has been cast as Roman Polanski. Danny Strong and Handmaid's Tale breakout Sydney Sweeney have joined Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie, set in 1969 Los Angeles, also has added Polish actor Rafal Zawierucha to play a young Roman Polanski, joining previously announced star Margot Robbie, who portray Sharon Tate. Clu Gulager, James Landry Hebert and Better Things star Mikey Madison also have been tapped as castmembers. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood follows Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), who are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don't recognize anymore. Tarantino wrote and is directing the large ensemble feature that recently cast Lena Dunham and Maya Hawke and is currently filming in Los Angeles. Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis and Luke Perry are also set to star, along with James Marsden, Timothy Olyphant, Tim Roth and Burt Reynolds. The film is set for a July 26, 2019, release. Sweeney, who also is set to star in Big Time Adolescence opposite Pete Davidson, is repped by Paradigm, Curtis Talent Management and Hansen, Jacobson. Strong, the Emmy-winning creator of Fox's Empire and writer behind Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, stars on Showtime's Billions. He is repped by CAA and Sweeney Entertainment. Madison is repped by WME, Authentic and Hansen Jacobson Teller; Hebert is with Kohner Agency, LINK and attorney Mark A. Johnson. (Hollywood Reporter)

'Joker' Movie: Alec Baldwin to Play Bruce Wayne's Father. Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz and Marc Maron are already on the call sheet. Alec Baldwin is joining Joaquin Phoenix in Joker, Warner Bros.' stand-alone movie centered on DC's clown prince of crime. Baldwin is the latest high-profile actor to join the project, which is scheduled to begin shooting in two weeks. Robert De Niro, Deadpool 2 breakout Zazie Beetz and Glow actor Marc Maron are already on the call sheet. Phoenix is set to portray the DC Comics villain in a film that is more moderately budgeted and darker than the studio's other DC-based movies that make up its shared universe. The project is also described as more of a dark character study than a crime thriller, with Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy as the tonal watchwords. Baldwin has been tapped for the role of Thomas Wayne, who in Batman lore is the father of Bruce Wayne, the future caped crusader. But this being a movie project that will veer off-center from the traditional Batman canon, sources say the script paints Thomas Wayne as a cheesy and tanned businessman who is more in the mold of a 1980s Donald Trump. Baldwin already has plenty of experience playing Trump via Saturday Night Live, which recently earned him a second Emmy nomination for the role. The actor currently can be seen onscreen in the Paramount hit Mission: Impossible -- Fallout, and recently wrapped a role in Motherless Brooklyn, a crime drama being made by Warners. (Hollywood Reporter)

Woody Allen taking a break from film for the first time in decades. Woody Allen, after decades of churning out at least one movie a year, is taking a long-deserved break. "A Rainy Day in New York" -- Allen's 48th feature film -- wrapped filming in November and is set to be released by Amazon before the end of the year. Negotiated in 2016 by then-studio head Roy Price, Amazon has a deal with Allen that leaves Amazon on the hook for three more films after "Rainy Day." Earlier this year, a Hollywood Reporter article said that Amazon may decide to break the deal even if that means a hefty payout. And the Woodman, 82, has no movie ready for release in 2019. IMDb lists an "Untitled Woody Allen Project" in pre-production for 2020. But sources say Allen has yet to secure financing for the project. "Woody loves working. He never takes a vacation. But he will be taking time off this year until he can find a backer," said one source. The #MeToo movement, ironically spearheaded by his son Ronan Farrow, has hurt the auteur, who was accused by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, of sexually abusing her 26 years ago. Allen was never formally charged with a crime, although a judge in Allen's child-custody case against Mia Farrow called Allen's behavior toward Dylan "grossly inappropriate." "Woody always got great actors. Stars would work for scale because it gave them prestige, but with the #MeToo movement, he's toxic," one Hollywood producer told me. Timothee Chalamet, Griffin Newman and Rebecca Hall announced they are donating their wages from "A Rainy Day in New York" to various charities for victims of sexual abuse. Hall, who also starred in Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," said she regretted working for Allen. "My actions have made another woman feel silenced and dismissed," she wrote on Instagram. "Rainy Day" also stars Jude Law, Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning. Allen had troubles even before #MeToo. "His movies don't make money," said my source. "For years, he's been going from one financier to another. He even went to Europe. But he's run out of options." A spokesman for Allen said, "None of this is true." (PageSix)

Chrissy Teigen's heartfelt response to Crazy Rich Asians shows exactly how important film representation is. Representation in the film industry has become huge as recently as the last decade, with the introduction of empowering movements such as #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo. And now, new box-office hit, Crazy Rich Asians, is here to tackle diversity problems in the industry once more. Within twelve days of being released, the movie crossed over $80 million in global ticket sales, and celebrities including Chrissy Teigenhave applauded the movie and its insight into Asian culture. Chrissy watched it with husband, John Legend, and daughter, Luna, before opening up in an emotional Instagram post. "You never know how much you miss being represented on screen until you actually see what it's like to be represented," she wrote in the caption. "What can I really say about this movie that hasn't been said by absolutely everyone who has seen it? I've been excited to see this since production was announced but I could have never imagined how wonderful it would be." The model also touched on Luna looking up at actress Constance Wu's mother and yelling "Yay!", which means Grandma in Thai - because she saw someone who looked like her yay. Adorable. She added: "It made me happy to see this over the top story done from so many angles, some I could totally understand because of my own confusing Asian American upbringing. I loved it all, from the quieter moments of talking around the table of sacrifice and past hardships to the spectacle of the bachelor party. " And if that wasn't enough, one of the sweet family photos in the post showed Luna and her mum looking up at one of the costumes from the movie in a window. The importance of representation in Crazy Rich Asians was woven into the movie from the start. Kevin Kwan, the author of the original novel, optioned the movie rights for $1 so that Hollywood wouldn't whitewash the book, and he could have control over the creative direction of the adaption. The results will soon speak for themselves - with the movie set to be a major win for the Asian acting community. Watch out, Oscars. (British Glamour)

Sorry, Cannes: How Netflix Is Invading the Fall Festival Circuit. Following its high-profile battle with the French event, the streamer is making a strong showing on the late-2018 calendar, and indie producers and filmmakers seem supportive. A black-and-white drama, in Spanish, set in Mexico City during the 1970s. A three-part drama examining the deadliest terror attack in Norwegian history. A true tale of Italian police brutality. And a 132-minute Western anthology featuring six stories from the American frontier. These four features premiering at the 2018 Venice Film Festival -- Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, 22 July from Paul Greengrass, Alessio Cremonini's On Skin and the Coen brothers' The ?Ballad of Buster Scruggs -- have little in common. Other than they are just the type of niche, high-end or downright weird cinema Venice loves to promote. And they were all financed by Netflix. Only three months after the streamer's snub of Cannes, Netflix is back in force for the fall festivals. In total, six Netflix films will screen in Venice -- the company's restored version of Orson Welles' final film, The Other Side of the Wind, and Morgan Neville's Welles documentary, They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, also will premiere on the Lido -- a record for the event. Toronto has picked seven Netflix titles, including this year's opener, David Mackenzie's Scottish period epic Outlaw King. Venice's embrace of Netflix has angered some. Italian distributors lashed out, arguing that the fest was condoning the streamer's business model of day-and-date releasing that bypasses theatrical exclusivity. "We will oppose this proposal by any means necessary," read a joint statement from trade bodies the ANEC and ANEM, which represent Italian cinema owners. But other industry players argue that Netflix should be celebrated, not condemned, for backing the type of movies that have become nearly impossible to finance using the old model, which combined a theatrical release with revenue from TV sales and home video. With home video gone, TV revenue down and the theatrical business dominated by studio tentpoles, Netflix is one of the few entities willing to finance non-mainstream movies. "Filmmakers are glad to get financing from Netflix because Netflix gives total freedom to the filmmaker to make the film that they wish without any kind of intrusion," Venice director Alberto Barbera told THR. Without Netflix's backing, Roma would have been a tough proposition for most distributors. While Netflix has not yet revealed its release strategy for the film, it is believed to include a limited theatrical bow in multiple territories. Lucky Red, the Italian distributor for On My Skin, said it will offer Italian theaters the chance to screen the film simultaneously with its Netflix release. "We are really proud On My Skin was selected (by Venice) and that Netflix acquired it," says Lucky Red boss Andrea Occhipinti. "This is the proof we produced a great film." (Hollywood Reporter)

Oscars: Sweden Selects 'Border' for Foreign-Language Category. Ali Abbasi's story of trolls in modern-day Scandinavia comes from the writer of vampire fable 'Let the Right One In.' Sweden has picked Border, a fantastic tale of trolls living and working in modern-day Scandinavia, as its entry for the 2019 foreign-language Oscar. The second feature from Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbassi is based on a novella by John Ajvide Lindqvist, the writer of cult vampire classic Let ihe Right One In. Border focuses on two misshapen outsiders who resemble the trolls of Nordic folklore. Tina (Eva Melander), who can sense human emotions, works as a glorified sniffer dog for Swedish border police but is shunned by her colleagues and society. Vore (Eero Milonoff), a fellow outcast, is defiant and proud in his beastly strangeness. The two meet and develop an animal attraction, but an exploration of Tina's past leads to some explosive revelations. The genre-bending drama premiered in Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar, where Neon snatched up the feature for North America. Border was produced by Nina Bisgaard, Piodor Gustafsson and Petra Jonsson for Meta Film Stockholm, Spark Film & TV and Karnfilm in co-production with Meta Film Denmark together with Film i Vast, SVT and the Copenhagen Film Fund. The Swedish Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond provided production support. The film was also supported by the Danish Film Institute, MEDIA and Eurimages. Films Boutique is handling worldwide sales. (Hollywood Reporter)

Toronto: IFP Head Joana Vicente Hired as Festival Co-Head. The veteran indie film producer also becomes executive director as she and co-head Cameron Bailey replace outgoing CEO Piers Handling. Joana Vicente, executive director of the Independent Filmmaker Project and Made in NY Media Center, on Tuesday was named as the new executive director and co-head of the Toronto Film Festival. She will join TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey as co-head of the festival on Nov. 1 and run its business end as the Toronto-based organization sees longtime CEO Piers Handling and executive director and COO Michele Maheux step down after the upcoming 43rd edition in September. "I've always looked to TIFF as a prominent international platform for world cinema, with an impact that is both local and global," said Vicente in a statement. As she moves to a larger platform than the New York City-based IFP, Vicente will help shore up Toronto's reputation as an Oscar launchpad for Hollywood after rival Venice in recent years has discovered a host of award season winners like Gravity, Spotlight, Birdman, La La Land and The Shape of Water. As part of its executive shuffle, TIFF's earlier unveiled a splitting of power at the top of the festival as Handling exits. "The board is confident that Joana and Cameron are the perfect duo to take TIFF into the future," Toronto festival board member Jennifer Tory said in a statement. Vicente will now use her extensive contacts with the Hollywood studios, leading indie producers in North America and Europe, and emerging filmmakers in Asia and elsewhere to yield more world premieres for Toronto that possibly go on to Oscar success. TIFF, with its new five-year strategic plan, is also tackling how it will showcase the best in Hollywood and world cinema as younger talents increasingly opt for streaming platforms rather than the traditional cinema house to get their latest work viewed by worldwide audiences. Toronto has eight movies in all from Netflix screening at its upcoming 43rd edition, including the opening night pick, Outlaw King. "While we will miss her immensely, we acknowledge the opportunity to find a dynamic new leader and we are excited to open the search and start a new chapter for the organization as it celebrates its 40th anniversary," New York City-based IFP added Tuesday in its own statement as that event launches a search for Vicente's successor. Vicente joined IFP in Dec 2009 as executive director of the not-for-profit representing U.S. indie filmmakers. Along with her partner Jason Kliot, Vicente has produced over 40 films, mostly low budget, arthouse fare by indie directors like Jim Jarmusch, Miguel Arteta, Brian De Palma, Hal Hartley, Steven Soderbergh, Nicole Holofcener and Todd Solondz. She also founded three production companies, including Blow Up Pictures, the digital production arm of Open City Films, and HDNet Films, the digital production company founded with Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner. Vicente and Kliot got their start as associate producers on Welcome to the Dollhouse in 1995. She will attend this year's Toronto festival from Sept. 6 to 16, before returning to New York City to oversee the upcoming IFP Gotham awards show on Nov. 26. (Hollywood Reporter)

Sorry, Cannes: How Netflix Is Invading the Fall Festival Circuit. Following its high-profile battle with the French event, the streamer is making a strong showing on the late-2018 calendar, and indie producers and filmmakers seem supportive. A black-and-white drama, in Spanish, set in Mexico City during the 1970s. A three-part drama examining the deadliest terror attack in Norwegian history. A true tale of Italian police brutality. And a 132-minute Western anthology featuring six stories from the American frontier. These four features premiering at the 2018 Venice Film Festival -- Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, 22 July from Paul Greengrass, Alessio Cremonini's On My Skin and the Coen brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs -- have little in common. Other than they are just the type of niche, high-end or downright weird cinema Venice loves to promote. And they were all financed by Netflix. Only three months after the streamer's snub of Cannes, Netflix is back in force for the fall festivals. In total, six Netflix films will screen in Venice -- the company's restored version of Orson Welles' final film, The Other Side of the Wind, and Morgan Neville's Welles documentary, They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, also will premiere ?on the Lido -- a record for the event. Toronto has picked seven Netflix titles, including this year's opener, David Mackenzie's Scottish period epic Outlaw King. Venice's embrace of Netflix has angered some. Italian distributors lashed out, arguing that the fest was condoning the streamer's business model of day-and-date releasing that bypasses theatrical exclusivity. "We will oppose this proposal by any means necessary," read a joint statement from trade bodies the ANEC and ANEM, which represent Italian cinema owners. But other industry players argue that Netflix should be celebrated, not condemned, for backing the type of movies that have become nearly impossible to finance using the old model, which combined a theatrical release with revenue from TV sales and home video. With home video gone, TV revenue down and the theatrical business dominated by studio tentpoles, Netflix is one of the few entities willing to finance non-mainstream movies. "Filmmakers are glad to get financing from Netflix because Netflix gives total freedom to the filmmaker to make the film that they wish without any kind of intrusion," Venice director Alberto Barbera told THR. Without Netflix's backing, Roma would have been a tough proposition for most distributors. While Netflix has not yet revealed its release strategy for the film, it is believed to include a limited theatrical bow in multiple territories. Lucky Red, the Italian distributor for On My Skin, said it will offer Italian theaters the chance to screen the film simultaneously with its Netflix release. "We are really proud On My Skin was selected (by Venice) and that Netflix acquired it," says Lucky Red boss Andrea Occhipinti. "This is the proof we produced a great film." (Hollywood Reporter)

Oldenburg Co-Pro Event Features Norman Mailer Adaptation, Projects From Philippe Mora, Harry Kumel. Jim Jarmusch producer Jim Stark ('Night on Earth,' 'Coffee and Cigarettes') will host a panel on making low-budget films at Oldenburg's Matchbox Coproduction Lounge. An adaptation of Norman Mailer's last novel, The Castle in the Forest, and Barbara Abel's French bestseller Duelle, as well as new projects from cult filmmakers Philippe Mora and Harry Kumel, will be on offer at this year's Matchbox Coproduction Lounge, the industry event held during the Oldenburg International Film Festival. Mailer's son Michael, who will present Sienna Miller starrer The Private Life of a Modern Woman in Oldenburg, will be on hand to pitch the adaptation of his father's final novel to potential partners. Kumel, the Belgium filmmaker behind such features as Monsieur Hawarden (1968) and Eline Vere (1991), will be in Oldenburg looking for backers for Mother of Darkness, a planned sequel to his 1971 cult vampire feature Daughters of Darkness. Kumel will also present The Adventures of Harry Dickson, a planned TV series based on a story by Jean Ray, whose novel was the basis for Kumel's 1972 feature Malpertuis, starring Orson Welles. Mora, another cult director from the 1970s, has joined forces with fellow Australian filmmaker Jim McElroy on Monash of Australia, a planned $10 million biopic of Sir John Monash, a Jewish Australian military commander who launched the greatest offensive of WWI at Amiens on the Western Front. McElroy, whose production credits include Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Year of Living Dangerously, is hoping to secure a German writer and co-producer for the period feature. The one-day Matchbox event, which will be held in Oldenburg on Saturday, Sept. 15, will feature 10 international projects at different stages of development. On Sunday, Sept 16, acclaimed indie producer Jim Stark, whose credits include Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law, Night on Earth and Coffee and Cigarettes, will host a panel on low-budget production. Stark is attending Oldenburg to present his latest feature, the German drama Adam, from director Maria Solrun. The Oldenburg Film Festival runs Sept. 12-16. (Hollywood Reporter)

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