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Cory Michael Smith, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung to Star in AIDS Drama '1985'

13 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Gotham star Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis are starring in 1985, an AIDS drama from Yen Tan.

Stranger Things actor Noah Schnapp and Big Hero Six's Jamie Chung are also starring in the indie, which will begin shooting late May in Texas.

The indie is based on Tan’s short of the same name, which won the special jury prize at last year's SXSW. He expanded the script for the feature and is directing.

1985 focuses on terminally-ill Adrian (Smith), who flies home from New York to visit his estranged family in Texas. His attempt at revealing his »

- Borys Kit

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A24 After ‘Moonlight:’ Why They’re Finally Ready To Conquer the Older Arthouse Crowd

14 hours ago | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

A24 cemented its perception as the new-model indie distributor when Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” won three Oscars, including that dramatic best-picture win. So what does the upstart indie, hailed for holding the skeleton key that unlocks the precious millennial demo, do for an encore?

The Tribeca Film Festival showcased three upcoming A24 releases, all of which seem oddly retro. There’s Yiddish-language Hasidic family drama “Menashe,” World War II costume drama “The Exception,” starring Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer as Kaiser Wilhelm II, and “The Lovers,” starring Debra Winger and Tracy Letts as an unhappy older married couple. Suddenly, the new boss looks a lot like the old one.

What gives? This older-demo arthouse trio could easily carry the signature blue-and-white logo of venerable specialty distributor Sony Pictures Classics. But don’t be deceived by appearances. A24 is a far cry from older-generation studio indies like Spc and Fox Searchlight, which tend to follow an established playbook. »

- Anne Thompson

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Amy Madigan, Ken Marino and Sky Ferreira Join Scott Free’s ‘Burning Woman’ (Exclusive)

16 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Amy Madigan, Pat Healy, Ken Marino, Sky Ferreira, and Macon Blair have joined the cast of Scott Free’s “The Burning Woman” with Jake Scott directing.

The pic currently stars Sienna Miller, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul, and Will Sasso. Brad Ingelsby, who wrote “Run All Night” and “Out of the Furnace,” is penning the script.

The film tells the story of a woman whose life is changed when her teenage daughter mysteriously disappears and she is left to raise her young grandson.

Ridley Scott, Kevin Walsh, and Mike Pruss will produce through the Scott Free banner. Scott Free’s Ryan Stowell will executive produce.

Wme reps domestic rights and Bloom reps foreign with a plan to sell markets in Cannes. The film will start shooting this week in Massachusetts.

Madigan is repped by Don Buchwald & Associates and Anonymous Content; Healy is repped by the Gersh Agency, Luber Roklin, and Jackoway »

- Justin Kroll

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Omari Hardwick, Meagan Good to Star in Presidential Election Romance Drama

17 hours ago | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The presidential election is an evening of romance for Omari Hardwick and Meagan Good, who have signed on to star in A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love on Election Night.

Qasim Basir is directing the romance drama from his script. It sees Hardwick as a Los Angeles club promoter named Cass, who, on the night of the 2016 presidential election, meets a woman named Free (Good). She challenges him to revisit his broken dreams during a series of events that occur as Donald Trump surges ahead over Hillary Clinton in the race for electoral votes to win the White House.


- Ashley Lee

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Documentary ‘Spettacolo’ Lands at Grasshopper Film for U.S. Release (Exclusive)

18 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Grasshopper Film has bought the U.S. distribution rights to the documentary “Spettacolo,” a month after its world premiere at the SXSW film festival.

Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen, who teamed on the acclaimed 2010 documentary “Marwencol,” directed and produced “Spettacolo.” The movie centers on Monticchiello, a tiny hill town in Tuscany which has turned the lives of its residents into a play about itself for the past 50 years. Grasshopper plans to open the film theatrically this fall, followed by a VOD and home video release.

The film examines Monticchiello’s annual tradition, which has attracted worldwide attention, at a time when its population is aging and the younger generation is more interested in Facebook than farming. It interweaves episodes from its past with its modern-day process, as the villagers turn a series of blows into a new play about the end of their world.

Dennis Harvey wrote in his SXSW review for Variety, »

- Dave McNary

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‘Stephanie’ Review: Akiva Goldsman Delivers a Solid Creepy Kid Movie — Overlook Film Festival

3 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The horror genre often derives much of its appeal from playing into expectations and generating visceral terror at the same time. That’s certainly the case with “Stephanie,” a more-than-competent entry in the creepy kid subgenre that doesn’t break new ground but manages to find its footing anyway. Directed on a microbudget scale by “A Beautiful Mind” screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, the movie never crystalizes into the ominous extremes of “The Omen” or “The Bad Seed,” but it nevertheless develops a prevalent eeriness around the chilling performance of a young child.

That would be the titular Stephanie (Shree Crooks, the youngest member of the anarchistic family in “Captain Fantastic”), who spends most of the movie entirely on her own in an empty house. After a bizarre and somewhat cheesy opening segment set in an inexplicable dystopian future, the movie flashes back to the disquieting story of Stephanie, who inhabits her »

- Eric Kohn

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Akiva Goldsman Will Write and Direct a New Version of Stephen King’s ‘Firestarter,’ Produced By Blumhouse

4 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Akiva Goldsman may be best known as an Oscar-winning screenwriter whose credits include “A Beautiful Mind” and “Cinderella Man,” but he appears to have found a second act as a horror director. At the inaugural edition of The Overlook Film Festival, a horror film festival taking place at the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon, Goldsman premiered “Stephanie,” the low-budget supernatural horror film that he directed for Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions.

After the screening, Goldsman and Blum shared some breaking news with the audience: The pair would be teaming up again for a new adaptation of “Firestarter,” Stephen King’s 1980 novel about a young girl with pyrokensis and the government agency on her trail.

No one knows about this at all,” said Blum, who also received the festival’s Visionary Award for his support of horror films. “Akiva and Stephen King have a long relationship. We wouldn’t do »

- Eric Kohn

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Top Hollywood Directors Decode Vr at First Vrtl Summit

8 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Although Virtual Reality (Vr) has yet to take off commercially, so far the Hollywood studios are mostly embracing the new digital frontier as a marketing vehicle to promote their franchises. On Wednesday, Paramount hosted the first Vrtl Summit for Vr professionals and investors, and announced a partnership with MoveoPlus to provide Moveo Virtual Reality Simulators in theaters and theme parks, with content provided by J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay.

While they are among many top directors, from Alejandro González Iñárritu  to David Goyer, who are experimenting with Vr storytelling, everyone acknowledges that the technology needs to improve — along with bringing down the cost of those bulky headsets. And the push to bring engaging content to consumers remains a challenge. It comes down to effective storytelling. Nobody’s going to pay for Vr marketing promos, so immersive adventures and interactions with virtual characters are going to have to be compelling for »

- Bill Desowitz

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