Midway 2019

Lionsgate released the first look at Roland Emmerich’s World War II epic Midway, with a teaser for the pic that the studio picked up in a mega deal during the last Toronto Film Festival. It’s been slated for a November 8, 2020 release — that’s Veterans Day, so a four-day opening for the action pic that will bow under the Summit label.

Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Ed Skrein, Aaron Eckhart, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Nick Jonas, Luke Kleintank, Keean Johnson, Etsushi Toyokawa, Tadanobu Asano and Jun Kunimura lead the cast. Wes Tooke penned the script, which relates the story of the June 1942 Battle of Midway, a turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II.

The film cost a reported $100 million, and is looking at a P&A spend upwards of $35 million. The teaser today shows off the scope of the action in the film, similar in shock-and-awe value to previous Emmerich-Mark Gordon collaborations Day After Tomorrow and 2012.

Gordon’s The Mark Gordon Co. and Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment this one, with Emmerich and Harald Kloser producing with Gordon and MGC’s Matt Jackson. Bona Film Group came in as a co-financier when the pic launched sales at the Cannes market and has distribution rights in China.

 

Personally, can’t wait for this one.

 

Official Secrets

Not a period drama, but looks like a good one coming our way.  August 30 in the USA

 

The true story of a British whistleblower who leaked information to the press about an illegal NSA spy operation designed to push the UN Security Council into sanctioning the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

 

 

 

 

The Children – BBC

A new TV movie set in 1945 has begun filming in Northern Ireland.

Marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust next year, The Children is described as a “stark, moving and ultimately redemptive story.”

Written by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Simon Block (The Eichmann Show), the one-off 90-minute special is based on the first-person testimony of some of these now elderly survivors of the Holocaust, whose filmed interviews will also be featured in the film.

The Children will star Romola Garai (The Hour), Tim McInnerny (Blackadder) and Iain Glen (Downton Abbey).



The official synopsis reads: “One summer’s night in 1945 a coach-load of children, some as young as three years old, are in transit from Carlisle airport to the Calgarth Estate in Lake Windermere, England. They are child survivors, and presumed orphans, of the Holocaust.

“With only a few meager possessions, they do not know what awaits them in Britain. They speak no English and, having spent many years living in death camps, and are deeply traumatized.

“At the end of World War II, the British government granted up to 1,000 children the right to come to the UK. Three hundred of these children were brought to Lake Windermere for their first four months to have the opportunity to recover, surrounded by nature.

“The responsibility for looking after the children is held by Oscar Friedmann (Thomas Kretschmann – The Pianist), a German-born child social worker and psychoanalyst. He and his team are in uncharted territory: their project to mass-rehabilitate a group of children has never been attempted before.”

BBC Two controller Patrick Holland commented: “The Children promises to be a beautiful and powerful drama about a little-known part of British history. The refuge given in the Lakes and determination to give children back their lives so they could begin again is both deeply moving and humbling.”

Executive producer Leanne Klein added: “The Children is a story of hope after horror, revealing how Britain and a remarkable group of adults transformed the lives of 300 child survivors of the concentration camps.

“Seventy-five years after the Holocaust ended it’s a story that feels as important and relevant as ever. I’m incredibly proud of the exceptional cast and crew we have brought together to make this film.”

The Children will air on in the UK on BBC Two and in Germany on ZDF in 2020.

Gentleman Jack – spring 2019

BBC One has released the first, very fun, teaser for their new epic series GENTLEMAN JACK in which Surrane Jones plays a 19th century woman who dresses up, acts and loves like a man governing her late father’s estate.

Gentleman Jack will air this spring on BBC in eight episodes

She portrays real life person Anne Lister who returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1832, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home Shibden Hall. The cast also includes Joe Armstrong, Gemma Jonesand Sophie Rundle.

 

 

Tolkien 2019 – May 10

NICHOLAS HOULT & LILY COLLINS

First official trailer has just been revealed from the upcoming movie TOLKIEN a biopic which will follow the young days of the author of world’s favourite epic fantasy saga Lord of the Rings, starring Nicholas Hoult and

The movie should also reveal how he came up with the imaginative LOTR world

Lily Collins. The opening data has also been set for May 10th! The trailer is rather short, disappointing and does not tell or show much, hope we get a longer one soon.

 

The movie explores the early life of J. R. R. TOLKIEN as he finds love, friendship and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts. When the

Brand new father Nicholas Hoult plays legendary Tolkien in the movie

horrors of World War I envelope Tolkien’s life, they threaten to tear this “fellowship” apart, and he questions the very meaning and purpose of his art.

Tolkien was an orphan as a child who tried to form a fellowship of friends before WW1

Instead, he finds a way to use these experiences as inspiration for his famous works, among them The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lily

Tolkien was a poet, novelist, philologist and university professor

Collins is his love and wife Edith Bratt who inspired the elven princesses from his sagas. Derek JacobiColm Meaney and Anthony Boyle also star!

 

 

The White Crow March 22nd.

Here’s a stirring first trailer for the Ralph Fiennes-directed Rudolf Nureyev drama The White Crow, which Sony Pictures Classics will release in the U.S. later this year.

Starring are dancer Oleg Ivenko as Nureyev, Fiennes, Adele Exarchopoulos, Chulpan Khamatova, and revered ballet figure Sergei Polunin. The script comes from David Hare (The Reader).

The film charts the life of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev, from his poverty-stricken childhood in the Soviet city of Ufa, to blossom as a student dancer in Leningrad, to his escape from the KGB and defection to the West at the height of the Cold War.

Studiocanal releases in the UK on March 22.

‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’

 

 

 

 

 

The REAL Ted Bundy

 

 

COURTESY OF HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Zac Efron plays serial killer Ted Bundy and Lily Collins a single Seattle mother he seduces in Joe Berlinger’s film.

Not to say that Zac Efron was born to play Ted Bundy, but the former High School Musical teen heartthrob is more than a bit convincing as the seductive, prolific and diabolical serial killer of young women in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Venerated documentary stalwart Joe Berlinger, who just happens to also have a four-part Netflix docuseries on the same subject, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, currently on view, does a cogent, propulsive job putting the appallingly prolific murderer’s story onscreen, and such material customarily finds an interested public.

Largely avoiding the opportunity to exploit the violence of Bundy’s extensive criminal career, during which he killed at least 30 women and probably more in the 1970s, Michael Werwie’s fine, smartly structured screenplay centers instead on his relationship with a young Seattle woman, Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins), whom he never harmed.

So handsome and charming was this young law student that he didn’t have to seduce women, they came after him, and it made no difference to Ted that Liz had a young daughter. He knew how to treat ladies well, or so it seemed; as it happens, there was an unusual spike in killings of young women in the Seattle area, 1970-74.

With Efron playing him, it’s very easy to believe in Ted’s ability to insinuate himself into the lives of innumerable women. Why he grew so attached to Liz — and why he didn’t eventually kill her — remains unclear. But he did develop a bad habit of getting pulled over at night by the cops, which perplexed him. Worse than that, when he and Liz visited a dog pound to possibly choose one, a very intuitive hound began growling at the young man intensely. It didn’t find a home that day.

Suspicions of something amiss were soon aroused in humans as well. In Utah he was accused and eventually sentenced to prison for aggravated assault in 1976, by which time homicide investigators took an interest in him. Thus triggers a particularly engaging stretch of the film, as the French prison escape novel Papillon becomes Ted’s bible and he eventually busts out of not just one but two jails.

Perhaps Ted’s biggest mistake is ending up in Florida, where authorities revered the death penalty and weren’t about to let the now famous outlaw escape again. “I’m gong to fry you,” a local sheriff promises after Bundy is hit with two charges of first degree murder.

Berlinger attacks the story in a rough-and-ready style only somewhat more refined than what he employs in documentaries, and the approach feels entirely appropriate. It also displays the versatility of cinematographer Brandon Trost, who most recently shot the more classically composed Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Up to this point, Efron’s Bundy been smooth, resourceful and unflappably confident. But in the climactic act, the character and the actor raise their games considerably as the murder trial commences. Far from contrite, he is madly confident and has entirely won over the blind support and love of an old friend, Carole Anne Boone (Kay Scodelario), with whom he manages to find ways to engage in passionate congress within courthouse walls, to the point of impregnating her.

The trial is a dynamite affair, which Bundy takes over after firing his attorney. The trial judge, played with and for great amusement by John Malkovich, fancies himself as a sage and wit. Efron flies higher than ever here, investing his character with an illusory confidence that’s entertaining even when the character and legal charges fully live up to the film’s title.

All along, Bundy has tried to maintain contact with his seemingly genuine love, Liz (whose kid mysteriously disappears from the narrative in the later-going). Where many other women fell for Bundy in the worst way, Liz was able to survive, for reasons that are never explored. Indeed, the psychological aspect of the killer’s prolific career is simply not addressed.

Still, it’s quite a story, which Berlinger moves along with unrelenting energy. He also gets good marks across the board for his work with the actors, an uncertain issue when it comes to documentary makers trying to cross over to the dramatic sphere. The director’s only previous dramatic feature, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, was a creative fiasco, one that put him off fictional stories for two decades. He’s done more than a little better this time.

Venue: Sundance Film Festival (Premieres)

Production: Cota Films, Voltage Pictures

Cast: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kay Scodelario, Jeffrey Donovan, Angela Sarafyan, Dylan Baker, Brian Geraghty, Jim Parsons, John Malkovich, Haley Joel Osment

Director: Joe Berlinger

Screenwriter: Michael Werwie, based on the book The Phanton Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall

Producers: Michael Costigan, Nicolas Chartier, Ara Kershishian, Michael Simkin

Executive producers: Zac Efron, Michael Werwie, Jonathan, Deckter, Jason Barrett

Director of photography: Brandon Trost

Production designer: Brandon Tonner-Connolly

Costume designer: Megan Stark Evans

Editor: Josh Schaeffer

Music: Marco Beltrami, Dennis Smith

Casting: Neely Eisenstein

Running time: 108 minutes