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Monday, November 19, 2018

Movies

A Christmas Prince's Sequel Trailer Takes You Inside the Royal Wedding Madness. Netflix is capping off the year of the royal wedding with this soon-to-be queen heading down the aisle. Almost a year since fans first met journalist Amber Moore (Rose McIver) on her journey to Aldovia for a press conference with Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) in A Christmas Prince, the next chapter in this romance is almost ready to be unveiled. The streaming site just released its first trailer for the upcoming sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, which is due out on Nov. 30 -- just in time to kick off the holiday movie marathons. While there's a royal wedding in sight this time around, the trailer also reveals a stressed-out Amber struggling to maintain her own identity as she prepares to assume her new role. In the trailer, we see the now-engaged Amber planning a wedding as Christmas looms. There are definite Lizzie McGuire Movie vibes as she manages an overbearing wedding planner with an over-the-top aesthetic. As she puts it, "It's like bridezilla in reverse." Meanwhile, we also can't help but think of our very own American royal, Meghan Markle, as Amber is asked to ditch her blog for her new position. "I just always thought that my wedding would be about being with the person I love," Amber says, alluding to her inner confusion. "I didn't realize it meant having to give up who I am." Meanwhile, according to Netflix, Richard faces a "political crisis that threatens to tarnish not only the holiday season, but the future of the kingdom." Yikes. Still, shots of Prince Richard looking determined on horseback and a sweet black-tie dance with Amber in white makes us believe this story ends with a holiday happily ever after. We'll be cozying up on the couch come Nov. 30 to find out. (Eonline)

'The Favourite' Dominates British Independent Film Awards in Craft Categories. The Oscar-tipped film picked up five awards ahead of the main BIFA ceremony. Yorgos Lanthimos' Oscar-tipped The Favourite has already landed its first batch of awards. The period drama starring Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone dominated in the craft categories of the British Independent Film Awards, picking up five honors. More than two weeks before the full BIFA ceremony, The Favourite took the best casting honor for Dixie Chassay, the best cinematography award for Robbie Ryan, best costume design for Sandy Powell, best makeup and hair design for Nadia Stacey and best production design for Fiona Crombie. Elsewhere, Lynne Ramsay's thriller You Were Never Really Here picked up the best music honor for Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood and best sound for Paul Davies. Meanwhile, American Animals won best editing for Nick Fenton, Julian Hart and Chris Gill, and stop-motion animated feature Early Man won best effects for Howard Jones. The rest of the winners will be announced on Dec. 2. (Hollywood Reporter)

Lost Disney 'Oswald' Cartoon, Precursor to Mickey Mouse, Found in Japan. An anime historian had the 16mm film for nearly 70 years before realizing it was one of seven of Walt Disney's earliest works that had thought to be lost. A lost 1928 Walt Disney cartoon featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the character that would lead to the creation of Mickey Mouse, has been found in Japan. The 16mm copy of Neck 'n' Neck was in the hands of an anime historian Yasushi Watanabe, who had bought it when he was in high school nearly 70 years ago, but had not realized its significance. Watanabe, now 84, bought the film at a toy wholesaler near his home in Osaka, but only recently read Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons by David Bossert, a long-time animator at Disney who published the book last year. The film was tagged Mickey Manga Spide (Mickey cartoon speedy) and cost Watanabe ?500, $4.40 at current exchange rates. "As I've been a Disney fan for many years, I'm happy that I was able to play a role," Watanabe told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which contacted Bossert and the Walt Disney Archives to confirm it was one of seven of the 26 Oswald series thought to be permanently lost. The original Neck 'n' Neck was five minutes in length but was cut to two minutes for the 16mm version sold for home projection use. Watanabe's copy is currently being kept at Kobe Planet Film Archive, one of the largest private film collections in Japan, with more 16,000 titles in its library. Oswald was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks in 1927 and a series of cartoons featuring the character were made through 1928 and distributed by Universal Studios. It was the first Disney series featuring its own character and its success allowed the Walt Disney Studio to expand. However, in 1928, Disney lost control of the character in a contract dispute with his producer Charles Mintz, who took Oswald to Universal. On the train home from the fateful meeting, which also led to many of Disney's animators to leave for Universal, he decided to come up with a new character that he would hang on to the rights for. That character would be Mickey Mouse. In 2006, Disney CEO Bob Iger brought Oswald back to the company, effectively trading commentator Al Michaels to Universal, so he could work on NBC Sunday Night Football, in return for the character. The deal included the rights to Oswald and the original 26 short films made by Disney. Another of the lost Oswald films was discovered in the British Film Institute archives in 2015. Steamboat Willie, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon to get a full release, debuted on Nov.18 1928, 90 years ago this Sunday. (Hollywood Reporter)

Taron Egerton Talks Wild 'Rocketman' Costumes: 'I'm Either Wearing Everything or Nothing'. Taron Egerton appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night to promote his upcoming film Robin Hood, but he ended up spending the bulk of his time in the ABC host's guest chair discussing Rocketman. The actor, who is playing Elton John in the spring-release biopic, said that he first met the British singer on the set of Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Golden Circle, where John had an extended cameo. Egerton, who was called to meet John in a church in front of the organ, said, "I pictured this really cool, casual meeting of two men, and [when I arrived] he goes, 'If I were 5 years younger, I'd be marrying you [here].'" Egerton added, "That's Elton." When Kimmel prodded Egerton to speak more about the project, he brought up his apparel in the movie, already glimpsed in a memorable teaser trailer and official image for the film. Both have displayed the actor wearing apparel including wing-tipped sneakers, a gold-lame jacket, cowboy hats, overalls, a Queen Elizabeth-style gown and, of course, massive sunglasses. "We go to places in this movie, especially with the costumes; I'm either wearing everything or nothing," Egerton said. The actor also explained that he was ready to sing in the film after having grown up in Whales, which has a long and storied musical culture. His skill while belting out a promotional song for his 2016 film Eddie the Eagle with Hugh Jackman, "Thrill Me," impressed Rocketman producer (and Kingsman director) Matthew Vaughn, per Egerton. "You can sing! No, you can sing!" Egerton remembers Vaughn telling him. As for mastering John's skill with the piano, Egerton made an attempt. "I made a real effort to learn [piano]. As it turns out, it's very difficult," he joked. Some scenes are cut so that the movie doesn't show him failing to play the instrument, he added. Egerton concluded his chat by recalling a recent Elton John concert where the singer dedicated a song to him and Rocketman's director, Dexter Fletcher. "My mum started crying, and I tried to hold it together, but then my lips started going," he said. Rocketman is set for release on March 23, 2019. (Billboard)

Saudi Arabia Considering $700M Investment in Legendary Entertainment (Report). Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin is said to be looking to sell a sizable stake in the Burbank, Calif.-based film studio. Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund PIF is considering making a major investment in Legendary Entertainment, the U.S. movie studio owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, Reuters reported Thursday citing unnamed sources. PIF, short for "Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia," is eyeing a stake of $500 million-$700 million in Legendary. The fund is currently in talks to hire a financial adviser to assist with the bid, Reuters said. Wanda, led by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, purchased Legendary at the eye brow-raising price of $3.5 billion in 2016. The Chinese firm once harbored ambitions of becoming a global leader in the entertainment sector but has since shed international film and real estate assets under pressure from the Chinese government. The Saudi fund has not yet held formal discussions with Legendary about the prospective investment, sources close to the studio said. It isn't clear whether Wanda has held discussions with Saudi Arabia, however. Representatives for Wanda and PIF did not reply to requests for comment. Any investment offer would pose an interesting test of Wanda and Legendary's receptivity to Saudi capital after the high-profile killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month. Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and a vocal critic of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is widely believed to have been murdered by a Saudi hit squad while picking up documents in the country's Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2. The Saudi regime has denied that the Crown Prince was involved in Khashoggi's assassination, but much of the recent international reporting has suggested otherwise. The Saudi public prosecutor on Thursday unveiled charges against 11 people accused in the killing, recommending the death penalty for five of them. The Saudis were recently viewed by Hollywood as a tantalizing new capital source, as the Crown Prince had sought to portray himself as a reform-minded leader bent on spreading billions around the globe to diversify his country's oil exports-based economy through investment. But in the wake of the Khashoggi killing, many in Hollywood have sought to put distance between themselves and the Crown Prince and his money. Hollywood talent agency Endeavor is currently working to unwind a prior $400 million investment from PIF because of the poor optics of a continued association with the Saudis. A wave of entertainment executives -- including STX CEO Robert Simonds, Viacom's Bob Bakish, and others -- pulled out of Saudi Arabia's flagship investor conference last month. Despite such reversals in Hollywood, PIF believes Wanda could still be open to an offer because of the continued pressure the firm is facing from the Chinese government to trim debt and reduce overseas holdings. The U.S. leadership at Legendary could push back though, because of concerns of how the deal might affect the studio's ability to attract top talent for its projects, Reuters' sources said. Legendary's most recent releases include Pacific Rim Uprising and Dwayne Johnson's Skyscraper. The company is set to release two tentpoles in 2019, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu with Ryan Reynolds and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. (Hollywood Reporter)

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