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Disney CEO Bob Iger: Hacker Threat About Stolen Movie Was a Hoax

1 hour ago

Disney chief Bob Iger confirmed the company received a threat from cybercriminals who claimed to have stolen the digital copy of a movie — but that the studio believes the claims were false.

“To our knowledge we were not hacked,” Iger said in an interview with Yahoo Finance published Thursday. “We had a threat of a hack of a movie being stolen. We decided to take it seriously but not react in the manner in which the person who was threatening us had required.”

Iger added, “We don’t believe that it was real and nothing has happened.”

According to some reports, the movie in question was Johnny Depp-starrer “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” But piracy-news site TorrentFreak, citing an email exchange with someone purporting to be behind the extortion attempt, reported that the hackers told Disney they stole an incomplete cut of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi. »


- Todd Spangler

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Cannes: Dreamcatchers Acquires Everest Documentary (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Cannes  — Barcelona-based sales agency Dreamcatchers has taken worldwide rights to an untitled documentary chronicling Spaniard Kilian Jornet’s solo speed ascent of Mount Everest.

The documentary is produced by Barcelona-based Arcadia Pictures, whose credits include Pablo Berger’s “Abracadabra,” as well as Jornet’s own company, Lymbus.

A four-time winner of the Skyrunner World Series and three-time winner of the Mont Blanc Ultra, and a Catalan extreme sports specialist, mountaineer and long-distance runner, 29-year-old Kilian Jornet summited Everest’s on May 22 after a speed ascent made without oxygen or the use of fixed ropes and with minimum equipment.

The Everest ascent forms part of a project, ”The Summits of my Life” taking in seven of highest peaks in the world. Jornet established a record on his Everest ascent, summiting in 26 hours via the classic North Face route from an Everest Base Camp close to the Tibetan Buddhist monastery of Rongbuk. »


- Emilio Mayorga

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Amir Bar-Lev’s ‘Long Strange Trip’ to Making the Definitive Grateful Dead Documentary

1 hour ago

In 2003, Amir Bar-Lev (“Happy Valley,” “The Tillman Story”) had just one film under his belt, “Fighter,” and a lofty idea for his next project: the definitive Grateful Dead documentary. It was a daunting task that would end up taking 14 years, 11 of them trying to get the band’s blessing and the proverbial ball rolling, and another three producing and shooting the film. “Long Strange Trip” finally opens in theaters on May 25 and arrives to Amazon Prime Video on June 2.

Clocking in at just under four hours and divided into six acts, the doc chronicles the Bay Area band’s incredible journey from the early days of the San Francisco Acid Tests to the death of legendary guitarist and co-founder Jerry Garcia.

Related

Film Review: ‘Long Strange Trip

Bar-Lev, a self-described Deadhead, first discovered the Dead’s music as a teenager in Berkeley, California. He is quick to note that 1973 is »


- Jeff Cornell

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Lionsgate Earnings, Revenues Top Wall Street Forecasts

1 hour ago

Lionsgate has reported earnings of $62 million, or 30 cents a share, for its fourth quarter ended March 31 — topping Wall Street forecasts of 22 cents a share and far above year-ago earnings of $10.9 million.

Revenues also came in above expectations at $1.26 billion, while analysts had been forecasting $1.19 billion.

Lionsgate announced the earnings Thursday after the market closed. It’s the second earnings report for the studio since its Dec. 8 acquisition of Starz for $4.4 billion. That transaction generated $89 million in restructuring and other costs primarily associated with the acquisition and subsequent integration of Starz.

Lionsgate’s movie operations have been buoyed by its musical comedy-drama “La La Land,” which won six Academy Awards and grossed $443 million in worldwide box office. The whimsical comedy-drama carried a production cost of $30 million.

“We’re pleased to report our first full quarter of financial results since we brought Starz into the Lionsgate family, and the numbers reflect a »


- Dave McNary

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Roman Polanski Joins Leading Polish Filmmakers at Cannes Celebration

1 hour ago

The Polish Film Institute and the Polish Filmmakers Assn. hosted a party, titled Polish Cinema Opening Night, at the Cannes Film Festival this week to celebrate the achievements of Polish cinema.

Among the guests at La Plage Du Rado were Polish filmmakers Roman Polanski, Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Zanussi and Jerzy Skolimowski. The event followed a screening of Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Iron” in Cannes Classics.

Other guests included Polish filmmakers Malgorzata Szumowska and Tomasz Wasilewski, Oscar-winning producer Ewa Puszczynska, the European Film Academy’s director Marion Doering, and Piers Handling, director and chief executive officer of Toronto Film Festival.

The hosts were Magdalena Sroka, the general director the Polish Film Institute, and Jacek Bromski, the president of the Polish Filmmakers Assn. They were joined by Andrzej Szumowski, president of the Polish Vodka Assn. and a senior executive at Wyborowa, the event’s sponsors.

Directors Malgorzata Szumowska, Jerzy Skolimowski, and Agnieszka Holland, »


- Leo Barraclough

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Animated ‘Jetsons’ Movie to Lift Off With ‘Sausage Party’ Director

1 hour ago

Warner Bros. has hired “Sausage Party” co-director Conrad Vernon to develop its animated feature “The Jetsons” with an eye to direct.

Vernon’s credits include co-directing “Shrek 2,” “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” in addition to the raunchy “Sausage Party” with Greg Tiernan. “Sausage Party” grossed $140 million worldwide on a $19 million budget. Vernon also voiced the Gingerbread Man in the “Shrek” movies.

Related Content Directors of ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Sausage Party’ and More Animated Films Share Their Biggest Challenges

Warner Bros. has been trying for several years to move forward on “The Jetsons,” hiring Matt Lieberman to write the script in 2015.

The Hanna-Barbera original animated show aired in primetime on ABC in 1962-63. It was set in 2062 and centered on George, Jane, Judy, and Elroy Jetson along with Rosie the Robot. The series was a Space Age counterpart to Hanna-Barbera’s “The Flintstones.”

Warner Bros., which owns the Hanna-Barbera library, »


- Dave McNary

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Cannes: France’s Mpm Film Takes Carolina Jabor’s ‘Liquid Truth’ (Exclusive)

2 hours ago

Cannes — Paris-based production-sales company Mpm Film has acquired worldwide rights outside South America to Carolina Jabor‘s “Liquid Truth.”

The feature marks the second fiction feature directorial outing by producer-director Jabor, who debuted with “Good Luck,” a box office hit, and also directed documentary “O mistério do samba.” One of the fast-rising women art film directors in Brazil, Jabor also has a cachet as a TV director, helming multiple episodes of Conspiraçao’s flagship TV hit, “The Invisible Woman.”

Produced by top Brazilian independent company Conspiraçao Filmes, whose credits include Andrucha Waddington’s “Lope,” omnibus feature “Rio, I Love You,” and Globo Filmes –the film arm of Brazilian media giant Globo, “Liquid Truth” was 100% financed by Globo using its access to Brazilian tax-break money.

The international sales agent deal was brokered by Ricardo Monastier for Mpm and Leonardo Barros for Conspiracao.

Based on a recent stage play by Catalan author »


- Emilio Mayorga and John Hopewell

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Blake Lively to Star in Thriller ‘The Husband’s Secret’ From ‘Big Little Lies’ Author

2 hours ago

Blake Lively is set to star in CBS Films’ thriller “The Husband’s Secret.”

Lively will also executive produce the film, with Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, and Andrew Miano producing via their Depth of Field production company.

Related

Blake Lively on Women in Hollywood, Directing and Possible ‘Gossip Girl’ Reunion

Based on “Big Little Lies” author Liane Moriarty’s novel, the story follows a wife, mother, and chronic perfectionist who inadvertently discovers that her husband has been keeping a secret from her for years … a secret that leads her to realize that her life is built on a foundation of lies and murder.

Liane Moriarty has established herself as one of the defining voices of the modern woman and Blake Lively’s unique combination of vulnerability, strength, and extraordinary talent makes her the perfect actress to realize Moriarty’s creation,” said CBS Films President Terry Press.

The book was published »


- Justin Kroll

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Eva Longoria Joins Anna Faris in ‘Overboard’ Remake

2 hours ago

Eva Longoria has joined the cast of the “Overboard” remake at MGM, sources have confirmed.

The film stars Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez and is based on the 1987 romantic comedy starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.

The remake will be co-directed and written by Rob Greenberg (“How I Met Your Mother”) and Bob Fisher (“We’re the Millers”). Ben Odell and Derbez will produce through their 3Pas Studios.

MGM partnered with Pantelion Films to co-produce, co-finance, and co-distribute the film, with Lionsgate handling domestic theatrical distribution. Production stars this May in Vancouver.

The original movie will be re-imagined with a reversal of the leading roles. The story will focus on a spoiled playboy from one of Mexico’s wealthiest families, portrayed by Derbez, who falls overboard off his yacht. He’s then convinced by Faris’ single, working-class mom that he’s her husband.

Longoria can currently be seen on the »


- Justin Kroll

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Bona Film Group and CAA Establish Film Fund

2 hours ago

Bona Film Group and CAA have launched a long-term film fund, with an initial $150 million investment. The fund will be co-managed by Bona and CAA, with a focus on financing English-language films for the global marketplace, Chinese co-productions, and Chinese-language films for the local market.

All films financed through the fund will be distributed in China by Bona Film Group; CAA will represent the North American and select international distribution rights to all films.

The announcement follows the news of Bona Film financing Roland Emmerich’s next film “Midway,” which is based on the famous World War II battle between U.S. and Japanese forces.

“With Bona, we have a strategic partner that brings an unmatched level of expertise of the Chinese film distribution landscape and a shared commitment to helping grow the Chinese film market,” said Roeg Sutherland, head of CAA’s Global Film Finance & Sales Group. “In addition »


- Justin Kroll

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‘Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary: Cast Then and Now (Photos)

2 hours ago

A long time ago — 40 years, to be exact — in a galaxy far, far from away, “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” premiered, forever changing the pop culture landscape … er … space-scape?

Now, after eight films, one animated series, and countless other canon entries, the original 1977 cast has found themselves as popular as ever in 2017 thanks, in part, to the recent releases of “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One.”

Related

40 Years Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, ‘Star Wars’ Was Born

Some of the “New Hope” stars are still working today. Harrison Ford is gearing up for the “Bladerunner” sequel, while Mark Hamill can be heard as most iterations of the Joker in the DC Comics universe. Perhaps the cast member whose presence has been felt most over the past year is Carrie Fisher, who died from cardiac arrest in late 2016. Her final film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will be released Dec. »


- JD Knapp

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New York’s Museum of the Moving Image Celebrates Film Movement’s 15th Anniversary (Exclusive)

3 hours ago

Cannes — Naji Abu Nowar’s Academy Award-nominated “Theeb,” Maysaloun Hamoud’s “In Between” and Lucia Puenzo’s “Xxy” screen in a 15-title film series presented by New York’s Museum of the Moving Image to pay tribute to New New York-based independent distributor Film Movement.

Entitled Film Movement: A 15th Anniversary Celebration, the screening series runs June 8 through July 2.

The showcase could easily have shown other titles: Film Movement, a distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films, has released over 250 features and shorts. Its chosen titles, however, includes at least six first features. Two, the most recent, come from or have chosen to ficus on the Middle East: U.K.-born Naji Abu Nowar’s “Theeb,” a Wwi-era adventure film shot in Jordan; and Maysaloun Hamoud’s “In Between,” from Arab-Israeli writer-director Maysaloun Hamoud, a female friendship dramedy, which proved one of the most notable of international debuts last year. »


- John Hopewell

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‘Makala,’ ‘Gabriel and the Mountain’ Scoop Cannes’ Critics’ Week Awards

3 hours ago

Emmanuel Gras’ Congo-set documentary “Makala” and Brazilian director Fellipe Barbosa’s drama “Gabriel and the Mountain” scooped the top two awards at Cannes’ Critics’ Week on Thursday evening.

Makala,” Gras’ second documentary film, won the Nespresso Grand Prize at Critics’ Week, which is headed by Charles Tesson.

The highly cinematic documentary feature follows a young man (Kabwita Kasongo) who lives in the Congolese countryside and works on production of charcoal to give his family a better future. Gras, who is also a well-respected cinematographer, last directed “Bovines.” The movie is produced by Bathysphere and sold by Les Films du Losange.

Meanwhile, “Gabriel and the Mountain,” which centers on a young Brazilian man’s journey across Africa, won the Visionary Prize and Fondation Gan Award.

Barbosa’s sophomore feature, “Gabriel and the Mountain” is based on the true story of a friend of the director who died on the slopes of »


- Elsa Keslassy

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‘Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary: Cast Then and Now

3 hours ago

In honor of the anniversary of “Star Wars,” we take a look back at the stars that spawned a long time again in a galaxy far, far away, and fast-forward to the present day.

Related stories'Star Wars' 40th Anniversary: Cast Then and Now (Photos)'Speechless' Actor Micah Fowler Wants to Play a 'Star Wars' Villain'Star Wars' New Images Include Touching Shot of Carrie Fisher, Billie Lourd »


- Jacob Bryant

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Jonas Carpignano on His ‘A Ciambra’ and Getting Notes From Martin Scorsese

4 hours ago

After making a splash in Cannes with ‘Mediterranea,’ which won the Critics Week Grand Prize in 2015, Jonas Carpignano is back, in Directors’ Fortnight this year, with ‘A Ciambra,’ which IFC’s Sundance Selects snapped up for U.S. distribution shortly after the premiere, reportedly following a bidding war. The young director (pictured, left) born in New York from an Italian father and an African-American mother, but raised in Rome, spoke to Variety about why he stayed in the Calabrian coastal town of Gioia Tauro for his ‘Mediterranea’ followup, and what it was like getting notes on his rough cuts from Martin Scorsese, who executive-produced the pic. Excerpts.

A Ciambra’ follows from ‘Mediterranea’ in various ways. I read it was actually prompted by the production’s car being stolen while shooting the short that became ‘Mediterranea.’ Can you tell me more?

Yes, I had never known about a Gypsy community in Gioia Tauro. »


- Nick Vivarelli

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Rosario Dawson in Talks for X-Men Spinoff ‘New Mutants’

4 hours ago

Rosario Dawson is in talks to join the X-Men spinoff “New Mutants” for Fox and Marvel as Dr. Cecilia Reyes.

“New Mutants” is in pre-production and has been set for an April 13, 2018, opening. “The Fault in Our Stars” director Josh Boone is helming “New Mutants” from a script he co-wrote with Knate Lee about teenage superheroes-mutants.

Dr. Cecilia Reyes serves as a mentor for the superheroes. Her character has the ability to generate an invisible bio-field around herself.

Split” star Anya Taylor-Joy and Maisie Williams of “Game of Thrones” are already signed up for the project with Taylor-Joy playing Illyana Rasputin, also known as Magik, who uses teleportation. Williams is on board as Rahne Sinclair, a.k.a. Wolfsbane, who can to turn into a wolf. Simon Kinberg and Karen Rosenfelt are producing.

Fox announced last month that it was dating three Marvel movies for 2018 — “New Mutants” for April 13, “Deadpool 2 »


- Dave McNary

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Playback: Geoffrey Rush on 14 Years of ‘Pirates’ and Tackling Einstein in ‘Genius’

5 hours ago

Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

The summer movie season is in full swing and next on the list of massive Hollywood extravaganzas is Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The franchise, which debuted to considerable skepticism in the summer of 2003 as there was no successful pirate genre to speak of, has gone on to become one of the biggest successes for the studio. Five movies deep and it’s still raking in billions of dollars.

Actor Geoffrey Rush has been along for the ride every step of the way as Captain Hector Barbossa, and without giving much away, he’s able to put something of a period on his work in the series with the new film. There’s obviously something big and robust and Baroque about playing a pirate, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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How Trudie Styler’s Experience Being Bullied Inspired Her Directorial Debut ‘Freak Show’

5 hours ago

Trudie Styler, best known as Sting’s better half, doesn’t like an audience. As she sits down at the rooftop restaurant of a Cannes hotel to discuss “Freak Show,” her feature film directorial debut, she gently asks if her publicist can grab a coffee, saying she gets nervous talking in front of several people.

“I’ll make sure we don’t talk about tantric sex,” she jokes, a nod to the much-picked over aspects of her love life with Sting.

At 63, Styler is elegant and regal, every inch a rock star’s wife, but she connected with the story of “Freak Show” because of her own sense of being an outsider. The film follows Billy, a gay teenager, who struggles to fit in after being transplanted to a high school in the deep South. Despite facing harassment, he decides to run for homecoming queen. It’s based on a book by James St. James, »


- Brent Lang

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Oscar Martinez to Star in Family Drama ‘Tu Me Manques’ (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

Argentinian actor Oscar Martinez will star in the family drama “Tu Me Manques” (“I Miss You”), which will be shot this summer in New York and Bolivia.

Martinez, who won the best actor award at the Venice Film Festival for “The Distinguished Citizen,” will play a wealthy man from Bolivia with old school values, who learns about his gay son’s recent suicide in the U.S. While browsing through the son’s computer, he strikes up a conversation by mistake with his son’s boyfriend. The subsequent heated exchange prompts him to travel to New York looking for answers.

Rodrigo Bellott is directing from his own screenplay, adapting from his play, which premiered in Bolivia in 2015. The project was developed while Bellott was a Fellow in Queer/Art/Mentorship, the artist support program founded by filmmaker Ira Sachs in 2011. The Broadway rights were optioned by “Kinky Boots” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch »


- Dave McNary

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Demetri Martin at ‘Dean’ Premiere: ‘I Beat the Odds’

5 hours ago

Demetri Martin was in a reflective mood at Wednesday night’s Los Angeles premiere at the Arclight Hollywood of his comedy-drama “Dean” — and not just because he was a day away from his 44th birthday.

The screening took place 13 months after the film won the top U.S. feature award at Tribeca and was bought by CBS Films — and six years after he began work on the project, which he produced, directed, wrote and starred in. The shoot took 21 days on an $800,000 budget with another $150,000 in post-production and re-shoots.

Related

Film Review: ‘Dean

“I feel like I beat the odds, just getting domestic distribution at all,” he said. “The reality of doing a low-budget film hits you pretty hard once you start so by the time I got to Tribeca, all I wanted to do was just not be embarrassed.”

The genesis of “Dean” stems from Martin losing his own »


- Dave McNary

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