Oscars Changes Coming in 2019: Popular Film Category Added. In a world...a "changing world," the line between the Oscars and the People's Choice Awards just got blurred. For years, fans of hit films that are not straight dramas, namely superhero, action, comedy or sci-fi box office sensations, have pondered why such movies are almost never nominated for an Oscar other than in more smaller categories such as Visual Effects or Makeup and Hairstyling. On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that a new award, "Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film," will be added. This marks the first new category since Animated Feature was added in 2001. The change is one of several the Academy is making to its annual Oscars ceremony, which airs on Disney-owned ABC, and follows a sharp decline in ratings over the past years; The 2018 telecast, which aired live in March and lasted nearly four hours, was watched by 26.5 million viewers, marking a 19 percent decrease from the previous year and making it the least-watched Oscars in the Academy Awards' 90-year history. The 2017 Oscars were watched by 32.9 million viewers, marking the second-lowest ratings. The 2016 ceremony was the third least-watched Oscars with 34.4 million viewers. Academy President John Bailey and CEO Dawn Hudson told members in a letter that in addition to the new popular film category, the Oscar telecast will be shortened to three hours. This means fewer award winners will be announced live during the telecast. "We are committed to producing an entertaining show in three hours, delivering a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide," the letter said. "To honor all 24 award categories, we will present select categories live, in the Dolby Theatre, during commercial breaks (categories to be determined). The winning moments will then be edited and aired later in the broadcast." "We have heard from many of you about improvements needed to keep the Oscars and our Academy relevant in a changing world," Bailey and Hudson said in their letter. "The Board of Governors took this charge seriously. We are excited about these steps and look forward to sharing more details with you." (Eonline)

Leo's chin gets edited out of 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' promos. Women aren't the only ones who get Photoshop edits in Hollywood. In a Photoshop flub, Sony accidentally uploaded an image file of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt posing in '60s garb for "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" that included all the edits that were made to the original shot. The photo edits revealed marks on the wall had been touched up, wrinkles removed from Pitt's chin, but most noticeably DiCaprio's tightened-up chin. Sony Pictures and "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" production told us, "The actors did not request any retouching of photography from Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood. We take full responsibility for the error." A source close to DiCaprio told Page Six, "He wasn't aware of any touch-ups, nor did he request it." DiCaprio, who is playing Rick Dalton in the film, first shared the promotional photo on June 27. Sony has since updated the photo file so press can no longer see all the changes in Photoshop. The Quentin Tarantino film follows a western actor and his stunt double during 1969, the year of the Manson murders in Los Angeles. Margot Robbie is set to play actress Sharon Tate. (PageSix)

Johnny Depp's embattled Notorious B.I.G. movie continues to struggle. As Page Six first reported, Depp caused an uproar during filming by allegedly assaulting the movie's location manager, Gregg "Rocky" Brooks (who is now suing him). Now the flick, "City of Lies" -- which follows an alleged police coverup of the rapper's 1997 murder -- has lost its release date. The drama, which co-stars Forest Whitaker, was due to come out Sept. 7, but the studio has scrapped the date, according to the Hollywood Reporter. No new date has been announced. (Page Six)

Venice Film Festival: Chinese Director Zhang Yimou to Receive Lifetime Achievement Honor. The director of 'Hero' and 'Raise the Red Lantern' is a two-time winner of Venice's Golden Lion. The Venice International Film Festival will present veteran Chinese director Zhang Yimou with this year's lifetime achievement award, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory prize. Zhang, a regular at Venice, is a two-time winner of the festival's Golden Lion award for best film. He received it for The Story of Qiu Ju in 1992 and Not One Less in 1999. He will present his latest movie, the martial arts period drama Ying (Shadow), in an out-of-competition slot at the Venice festival. Zhang will receive his award in the Italian city on Sept. 6, just before the film's world premiere. Arguably the best known and most influential of the so-called Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, Zhang made his debut with Red Sorghum in 1987. The literary adaptation of a novel by Mo Yan won Berlin's Golden Bear in 1988, becoming the first Chinese film to take a top prize at an international A-list festival. It also introduced the world to actress Gong Li, Zhang's long-time muse. Zhang's 1990 drama Ju dou, also starring Gong Li, was the first Chinese film to be nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar. His follow-up, Raise the Red Lantern, which premiered in Venice (where it won the Silver Lion), was also nominated for an Oscar. Zhang returned to the Lido in 1992 with The Story of Qiu Ju, which won the Golden Lion and earned Gong Li the Coppa Volpi for best actress. The fifth cooperation between actress and director, To Live (1994), won the special jury prize in Cannes. In the mid-1990s, having established himself as an internationally-recognized arthouse director, Zhang shifted towards genre cinema, anticipating a more mainstream approach by a new generation of Chinese filmmakers. His first effort in this vein, the gangster film Shanghai Triad, won the technical grand prize in Cannes. He has also seen success with so-called wuxia, or period martial arts films, including 2002's Hero, which was Oscar nominated, and House of Flying Daggers (2004). The 66-year-old filmmaker now moves easily between arthouse and the mainstream, with award-winning dramas such as Not One Less, The Road Home and Happy Times sitting alongside Chinese blockbusters, including The Curse of the Golden Flower, an epic tragedy set during China's Tang dynasty, which saw Zhang re-team with Gong Li (and pick up yet another Oscar nomination); or The Great Wall, his English-language debut, starring Matt Damon, which performed below expectations but still grossed upwards of $330 million worldwide. "Zhang Yimou is not only one of the most important directors in contemporary cinema, but with his eclectic production, he has represented the evolution of global language of film, and at the same time, the exceptional growth of Chinese cinema," said Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera. "Zhang Yimou has been a pioneer thanks to his capacity to translate authors, stories and the richness of Chinese culture in general into a unique and unmistakable visual style." The 75th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 29 -Sept. 8. (Hollywood Reporter)

Priyanka Chopra to Star in, Co-Produce Indian Film 'The Sky Is Pink'. The movie will tell the real-life story of a motivational speaker from Delhi who died in 2015 when she was just 18. Priyanka Chopra will star in Indian film The Sky Is Pink, a real-life drama directed by Shonali Bose, the producers unveiled on Wednesday. The actress is also co-producing the film via her Purple Pebble Pictures banner with Ronnie Screwvala's RSVP Movies and Siddharth Roy Kapur's Roy Kapur Movies. Screwvala and Roy Kapur have been former managing directors of Walt Disney Company India. RSVP Movies recently produced Hindi drama Love Per Square Foot, which Netflix acquired for worldwide streaming. As one of India's most popular exports to Hollywood, Chopra's credits include Quantico, Baywatch and, more recently, A Kid Like Jake, co-starring Claire Danes. In between, she has continued to star in Bollywood projects, such as 2015's historical epic Bajirao Mastani, followed a year later by Jai Gangaajal. The Sky Is Pink is based on the story of Aisha Chaudhary, a motivational speaker from Delhi who was born with an immune deficiency disorder and died in 2015 when she was just 18. Chaudhary will be portrayed by Zaira Wasim, while the film's cast also includes well-known actor Farhan Akhtar, with whom Chopra starred in 2015's Bollywood hit Dil Dhadakne Do. Chopra and Akhtar are expected to play the parents of the young girl. The project began shooting Wednesday in Mumbai. It will also film in Delhi, London and the Andaman Islands. Bose previously directed 2014's Margarita With a Straw which had a successful festival run, bagging the NETPAC award at Toronto. The film focused on an Indian teenage girl with cerebral palsy, portrayed by Kalki Koechlin who won a jury award at India's National Film Awards for her performance. In a Facebook post, Bose explained that Chaudhary had seen the trailer of Margarita With a Straw30 times and told her parents, "I hope I live to see this film. She said that because she knew she had only a short time left on earth." Chaudhary passed away before the film was released. When her parents watched the film, "they loved it and tracked me down in L.A. and said they only wanted one filmmaker in the world to tell this story and that was me," she said. "Not only because my film was Aisha's dying wish but because I had lost a child too." In 2010, Bose lost her 16-year-old son Ishan. "Strong scripts based on true life stories are rare and then having the perfect team is rarer," said Screwvala, adding, "I can't wait for 2019 to see it come alive." Chopra's next Hollywood release will be Isn't It Romantic with Liam Hemsworth, which is slated to open next year. Meanwhile, the actress also landed the female lead opposite Chris Pratt in Universal's Cowboy Ninja Viking. Chopra is repped by WME and manager Anjula Acharia. (Hollywood Reporter)


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