Movie News

Bill Skarsgard's return as Pennywise scared even the It Chapter Two effects team. You can understand why the grown-up Losers Club in It Chapter Two would be frightened of Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise, given their, let us say, rather negative experience with him in the original 2017 film. But it turns out that even the sequel's effects team was unnerved by the actor's depiction of the killer clown when Skarsgard first turned up to begin his reprisal of the role. "The first thing I did, it sort of caught me off guard," the actor tells EW. "I was supposed to do a motion-capture test and I didn't think I had lines or anything. I thought it was a facial scan of me doing different expressions. Then the night before, the director, Andy Muschietti, was handing me a scene to do. This was months before we started shooting. I was like, 'Oh my God, you want me to actually perform like Pennywise again?' I was like, 'I hope the character is still there, and still intact, and as he was two years before.' It was a weird thing because we showed up at this sort facility, I got dots on my face, set up a camera to scan my facial expressions, and, yeah, just like that he character was there as if he's never been gone, so it was kind of fun." Was it not scary, being able to summon up this monster so easily? "I think it was more-scary for the people in the room at that point," he says. "It's a big difference. Those guys, the VFX guys, they'd never really seen me perform live before, or a lot of them hadn't. To see me coming in as myself, and then the big shift of going from that to this sort of demonic creature [laughs], with the eyes, and the mouth, and everything -- it caught some people off guard." It Chapter Two also James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, and Bill Hader, and opens Friday. (Entertainment Weekly)

Will Smith & Martin Lawrence Are Back for 'Bad Boys for Life': 16 years after the release of Bad Boys II, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back with the third installment of the franchise, Bad Boys for Life. The trailer, released on Wednesday shows the duo in their characteristic banter as they tackle a villain "one last time." The film will also feature some new officers, including Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Charles Melton. "I'm done, Mike, I'm retiring," Lawrence is heard pondering. "You want your legacy to be muscle shirts and body counts?" Bad Boys for Life hits theaters Jan. 17. (Billboard)

Toronto: 'The Two Popes,' Potential Audience Award Winner, Sets Its Oscar Categories. Jonathan Pryce, who plays Pope Francis, will be pushed as a lead actor, and Anthony Hopkins, who plays Pope Benedict XVI, will be pushed as a supporting actor. Heading in to the Telluride Film Festival last week, the prevailing sense of pundits was that Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story (which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 29) and Martin Scorsese's The Irishmen (which will open the New York Film Festival on Sept. 27) were Netflix's only films with serious best picture Oscar prospects. But, as I expressed to reps of the streamer after seeing City of God helmer Fernando Meirelles' The Two Popes, in which Jonathan Pryce plays Pope Francis (the Pope since 2013) and Anthony Hopkins plays Pope Benedict XVI (the one who in 2013 became the first Pope in 719 years to voluntarily abdicate the papacy), I think they have a third -- one that could conceivably go even further than the others, not least at this week's Toronto International Film Festival, where it strikes me as a potential winner of the Audience Award (the same prize that Green Book won last year en route to a best picture Oscar). One big question regarding The Two Popes was how its two stars would be promoted for Academy Award considerations -- both as lead actors or one as lead and one as supporting. The Hollywood Reporter can now exclusively report that a final decision has just been made: Pryce will be pushed as a lead actor, whereas Hopkins will be pushed as a supporting actor. (Pryce has never been Oscar-nominated, though he has been great in everything from 1985's Brazil through 2018's The Wife; and Hopkins, who has been Oscar-nominated four times, winning 28 years ago for The Silence of the Lambs.) While some will raise their eyebrows at this positioning, arguing that even the film's title puts the two parts on equal footing, the reality is that the story is told mostly from the perspective of Pryce's Jorge Mario Bergoglio-turned-Pope Francis, including in flashbacks to his youth, and he has more screen time. Moreover, placing both men in the best actor race would have almost guaranteed that at least one of them would miss out on recognition -- only 12 films have ever produced multiple best actor Oscar nominees, none in the last 34 years. They each will still face stiff competition -- Pryce has to go up against the likes of Marriage Story's Adam Driver, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Leonardo DiCaprio, Joker's Joaquin Phoenix, The Irishman's Robert De Niro, Pain and Glory's Antonio Banderas, Dolemite Is My Name's Eddie Murphy, Ford v. Ferrari's Matt Damon and Rocket Man's Taron Egerton, whereas Hopkins will be up against Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's Brad Pitt, The Irishman's Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, Ford v. Ferrari's Christian Bale, The Lighthouse's Willem Dafoe, The Laundromat's Gary Oldman and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood's Tom Hanks. But I suspect that The Two Popes and its stars will more than hold their own this season. In fact, the sky is the limit for a film that tells a remarkable story (there are two living Popes who couldn't be more different but have come to like each other) in a crowd-pleasing way (to my amazement, I had a smile on my face from start to finish -- its end-credits sequence seals the deal -- and laughed frequently). It actually reminds me quite a lot of The King's Speech, taking viewers behind the scenes of a place they've never seen and humanizing historical figures, warts and all. And, as we were reminded last year with the surprising run of Green Book from Toronto all the way to the Dolby, during dark times, sometimes people like their 'important' movies to come with a smile and a laugh. (Hollywood Reporter)


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