Movie News

Jason Statham Exits Kevin Hart's 'Man From Toronto' Sony has a Nov. 20 date carved out for the film. Jason Statham is no longer teaming up with Kevin Hart for the action comedy The Man From Toronto. Statham has left the Sony project, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Sources say Statham's deal never closed to appear in the film, which is just six weeks away from filming, and the studio is looking for his replacement. The film would have been a reteaming Statham and Hart, who shared scenes together in last year's Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The Hitman's Bodyguard filmmaker Patrick Hughes is directing Man from Toronto for a Nov. 20 release. The story uses a case of a mistaken identity as its jumping-off point after the world's deadliest assassin, known as the Man from Toronto, and a New York City screw-up run into each other at an Airbnb. A clash of personalities, and a clash with deadly killers, ensues. Robbie Fox penned the script from a story by Fox and Jason Blumenthal. Blumenthal is producing along with Todd Black and Steve Tisch, his partners at Escape Artists, which produced the 2019 Hart sleeper hit The Upside. (Hollywood Reporter)

'No Time To Die' Release Delayed Due to Coronavirus Outbreak. The 25th Bond pic had been scheduled to hit theaters around the globe in April. It will now hit theaters in November. The release of upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die has been pushed back from April to November, becoming the first Hollywood tentpole to shift its global rollout because of the coronavirus outbreak. The 25th installment in the storied spy franchise will now hit theaters in the U.K on Nov. 12 and in the U.S. on Nov. 25. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and the final outing of Daniel Craig as 007, MGM and Eon's No Time to Die had been due to begin rolling out internationally in early April following a March 31 world premiere in London. It was scheduled to open in North America on April 10. MGM is releasing the title in North America via United Artists Releasing, while Universal has international duties. Relocating a tentpole and restarting the marketing campaign is no easy task but insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter that Eon Productions' Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson drove the decision to make the dramatic move. Alongside Craig, No Time to Die will also star 007 returnees Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz alongside franchise newcomers Rami Malek, Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch. As the coronavirus first began to spread, publicity tours for the movie in China, South Korea and Japan were canceled, and No Time To Die's release in Hong Kong was pushed back until April 30. Earlier this week, MGM, Universal and Eon received an open letter from the biggest Bond fan blog MI6-HQ, calling on the companies to delay the launch and "put public health above marketing release schedules." Aside for the concerns over audience members, the letter said the ongoing coronavirus outbreak could seriously impact the film's box office, noting that the countries to have banned or restricted large public gatherings -- including China, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea -- contributed some 38 percent of the total global earnings for the last Bond movie, 2015's Spectre. (Hollywood Reporter)

James McAvoy to Make U.S. Stage Debut in 'Cyrano de Bergerac'. Jamie Lloyd's acclaimed London production, which scored five Olivier Award nominations including best actor and director, will play May 8-31 at the BAM Harvey Theater. After years of regularly returning to the London stage between film jobs to continue his long-standing collaboration with director Jamie Lloyd, James McAvoy will finally cross the Atlantic in one of their critically lauded productions. The Scottish actor will make his American stage debut in Lloyd's hit production of Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand's classic 1897 verse drama about a proud French Army officer who sees his perceived lack of physical beauty as an impediment to courting the woman he loves. The play is being presented in a new version by Martin Crimp. Reviewing the production in The Hollywood Reporter, critic Demetrios Matheou called it "dazzlingly inventive and entertaining." Of McAvoy's work in the title role, he wrote, "The actor never disappoints onstage, and this is a multifaceted, thrilling, deeply moving performance." Both Lloyd and McAvoy received Olivier Award nominations for their latest collaboration, respectively as best director and best actor. The production, which concluded its limited engagement at the West End's Playhouse Theatre on Saturday, also earned noms for best revival, sound design and supporting actress Michele Austin. Cyrano will play May 8-31 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theater, with principal London cast including Anita-Joy Uwajeh as Roxanne and Eben Figueiredo as Christian accompanying the transfer. Tickets go on sale March 10 for BAM members and March 20 to the general public via BAM.org. "This production is a visceral, bold and wholly exciting take on a classic," BAM artistic director David Binder said Tuesday in a statement. "I'm thrilled to welcome Jamie Lloyd and James McAvoy to BAM this spring and look forward to sharing this one-of-a-kind experience with our audiences." Lloyd and McAvoy previously worked together on stage productions of The Ruling Class, Macbeth and Three Days of Rain. Other starry London imports playing this season at BAM include Duncan Macmillan's two-hander about love in a time of climate change, Lungs, with former The Crown co-stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith making their U.S. stage debuts in a transfer running March 25-April 19; while actor/music artist/activist Riz Ahmed will bring his solo show The Long Goodbye, described by Pitchfork as "a compelling balance between hip-hop and agitprop," to a secret location to be disclosed only to ticket buyers for two nights, April 3-4. Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale will conclude their run Sunday at BAM in director Simon Stone's contemporary update of Euripides' Medea. (Hollywood Reporter)

Sony Pictures Entertainment Shuts European Offices Amid Spread of Coronavirus. Work sites in London, Paris and Poland will be closed this week as the studio revealed that one employee in London may have been exposed to the virus. Sony Pictures Entertainment has closed its offices in London, Paris and Gdynia, Poland as a precaution against spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. "The health and well-being of our employees is of the utmost importance," the company said in a note to staff. "We thought it was important to share with you that one of our London employees may have been exposed to coronavirus COVID-19 given recent travels to an affected area. Out of an abundance of caution, the London, Paris and Gdynia offices will be closed for the remainder of the week, and employees should work from home." Sony added that all others across Europe remained open. The move follows a series of cancellations of film and TV events in Europe and other COVID-19 hotspots and moves by several studios to limit employee exposure to the illness. Disney this week canceled its European launch event for streaming service Disney+ in London over growing coronavirus fears, and WarnerMedia has ordered its staff worldwide to shut down events and limit corporate travel. With more new cases of COVID-19 detected in the U.K., Chris Whitty, Britain's chief media officer who is helping to lead the government's response to the outbreak, told BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday that the coronavirus is likely to be spreading undetected. Officials are on the brink of moving into the phase of "delaying" rather than trying to "contain" transmission, Whitty said. France has ordered the closure of around 120 schools in virus cluster zones to stem the spread of COVID-19. Some 204 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the country, with four deaths. In Poland, the first case of coronavirus infection was confirmed Wednesday by the country's health minister, Lukasz Szumowski. Sony's decision to shut down its local offices is in line with the cautionary approach being taken across the industry. This week alone saw organizers of the inaugural Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia postpone the event due to health fears. The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival and Bali's APOS Media event were also postponed, while Twitter and Facebook have both confirmed they'll be skipping this month's SXSW festival, which is under pressure to change its dates. The film industry as a whole is facing a $5 billion dollar hit, according to analysts. So far there are 93,100 confirmed and suspected cases globally, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the outbreak. It says there have been more than 3,190 deaths. (Hollywood Reporter)

Berlin Golden Bear Winner Mohammad Rasoulof Summoned to Serve Prison Sentence in Iran. The director, whose 'There Is No Evil' won Berlin's top prize Saturday, was convicted of "propaganda" against the state for his previous films and sentenced to a one-year prison sentence. Mohammad Rasoulof, the Iranian director whose latest film, There Is No Evil, won the Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday, has been summoned to serve a one-year prison sentence in Tehran, according to reports. Nasser Zarafshan, a lawyer for Rasoulof, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the Iranian authorities have ordered the director to turn himself in. Rasoulof was found guilty of "propaganda against the system" for three of his previous films. Zarafshan said Rasoulof would appeal the order, especially given the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Iran. Authorities have already sent 54,000 prisoners on temporary furlough over concerns the virus could spread through the country's prison system. London-based Iran International TV also reported the news of Rasoulof's summons Wednesday. The Hollywood Reporter was unable to independently confirm the story. Official Iranian media has not yet commented on the case. Rasoulof's There Is No Evil, a series of four stories dealing with personal freedom under tyranny and a direct condemnation of Iran's policy of executing political dissidents, premiered Friday, Feb. 28, at the 70th Berlinale. On Saturday it won Berlin's Golden Bear for best film. Rasoulof was unable to attend Berlin. Since 2017 he has been banned from leaving Iran and has been given a 20-year ban on filmmaking for the alleged anti-regime propaganda contained in his movies. There Is No Evil was shot entirely in secret and made as four separate short films to avoid attracting the attention of the authorities. Berlinale organizers left an empty chair and name sign for Rasoulof at the news conference for his film Friday. Rasoulof's daughter, Baran, accepted the Golden Bear on his behalf. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter before the festival, Rasoulof said on the final day of shooting There Is No Evil he received a text message from the authorities rejecting appeal of his prison sentence. But that "I am still waiting to see when this sentence will be executed." (Hollywood Reporter)

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