As one person put it to me, "It's nice to have a trade covering, you know, the trades, because we haven't really had that in some time." Indeed, it's fantastic to see our colleagues at Variety dig in and represent the industry as they are with the newly branded "Artisans" initiative, and it's a long, long time coming. It is and has been an underreported element of the business, but I've happily seen that slowly shift in the decade we've been diligently, sometimes obsessively, covering below-the-line here at In Contention.
Biopics. They're all the rage. James Brown is about to hit theaters. Richard Pryor is stirring back to life. And now "Iron" Mike Tyson himself will be coming to the big screen, courtesy of Jamie Foxx.
If you followed HitFix's coverage of Comic-Con, then you know we were extremely high on the new trailer presented for Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar." Paramount managed to get the director down to the San Diego convention for the first time ever (he had somehow never bothered despite his involvement in one of the most popular superhero franchises to date), and the result, apparently, was sheer bliss for the attendees in Hall H. Well, today you can see the trailer for yourself (if you didn't already catch it in theaters over the weekend), and find out what all the fuss was about.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has announced Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange as the recipient of this year's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. The honor will be presented at a black-tie Gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on Nov. 16, an event which serves as an annual fundraiser for SBIFF.
The Toronto International Film Festival is known for its Oscar bait prestige dramas, major Hollywood studio releases, a focus (appropriately) on Canadian film and, to a lesser extent, its Midnight Madness program. One thing it doesn't have a strong reputation for is documentaries. That's why it's no surprise that only six of the initial 15 documentaries announced for the 2014 festival this morning are world premieres.
Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" added more screens this weekend and currently finds itself in 107 theaters nationwide. With a per-screen average of around $16,000, the weekend gross was north of $1.7 million, bringing the overall tally to over $4.1 million to date. As it continues to find its audience, the film is obviously a long play for IFC Films, and the prospect of awards recognition lurks, as ever, just over the horizon.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — In Lasse Hallström's latest film, "The Hundred-Foot Journey," Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren was given the opportunity to play a very forthright, proud restauranteur in the south of France. It's a character that plays well to her strengths and offers a striking foil to Manish Dayal's Indian chef-in-training, Hassan.
Before I even got out of bed this morning, I was watching the "Mad Max: Fury Road" trailer. How do you like THEM apples, Hall H? But seriously, it seems Warner Bros.' presentation of materials for George Miller's upcoming film won the day at Comic-Con yesterday despite the presence of DC Comics and Marvel Studios. Hard to do, but a nice surprise, nevertheless, and today WB has mercifully made the trailer available to us non-Coners.
After just an "Avengers: Age of Ultron" footage reveal and an "Ant-Man" panel that was caught under the specter of the project recently losing its director (no new movie announcements beyond a "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel, no exciting casting revelations), it really did seem from afar like the Marvel Comic-Con presentation was a bit of a whiff this year. I'm sure all in attendance enjoyed the early look, but it felt like it may have been pretty weak sauce, particularly if you were trying to decide between that and a unique Chuck Palahniuk/David Fincher/"Fight Club" panel and opted for the superheroes instead.
Michael Mann made his Comic-Con debut today alongside "Thor" himself, Chris Hemsworth, at the Legendary Pictures panel. Footage of his cyber thriller was screened, but the only real news is this: it has a title, "Blackhat." Deadline is reporting that it will be qualified for Oscars this year ahead of a Jan. 2015 release, but Universal denies that report. (UPDATE: Indeed, Deadline has changed its language to "may qualify.")