Joey King in Talks to Board Brad Pitt’s ‘Bullet Train’

From Variety: ““The Kissing Booth” star Joey King is in negotiations to join the cast of Brad Pitt’s action-adventure “Bullet Train.”

The Sony Pictures project, based on Kotaro Isaka’s Japanese novel “Maria Beetle,” will be directed by David Leitch from a script by Zak Olkewicz. Leitch and Kelly McCormick will produce “Bullet Train” through 87North, along with Antoine Fuqua. Kat Samick is executive producing with Ryosuke Saegusa and Yuma Terada of CTB Inc., who represent Isak.

A date hasn’t been set yet for the production. Sony has been keeping plot details and character descriptions under wraps.

King broke out in 2018 in Netflix’s teen romantic comedy franchise “The Kissing Booth” as Elle Evans, opposite Jacob Elordi and Joel Courtney. “The Kissing Booth 2” debuted on July 24 on Netflix and the streaming service recently announced a third movie that will launch in 2021.

“The Kissing Booth 3” was secretly shot at the same time as the sequel, so filming is already complete. The entire cast — including King, Courtney, Elordi, Taylor Zakhar Perez and Molly Ringwald — will return for the third installment.

King’s feature credits include “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” “The Conjuring,” “White House Down,” “Independence Day: Resurgence,” “Wish Upon” and “Slender Man.” She received a Primetime Emmy nomination for her starring role in the true-crime drama series “The Act.”

King is repped by UTA, Coast to Coast Talent Group and Industry Entertainment. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

John Lewis Tribute Hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gayle King and Brad Pitt to Air on CBS

From Variety: “CBS is set to honor the legacy of civil rights pioneer and longtime congressman John Lewis with a primetime special hosted by a an array of A-list names.

The one-hour special, which is titled “John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero,” will be co-hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gayle King and Brad Pitt, and will air Aug. 4 on CBS and across several other ViacomCBS brands (namely OWN, BET, MTV and Smithsonian).

“John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero” will consist of musical performances, interviews, and inspirational conversations about Lewis’ life and legacy. It is being produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment in partnership with CBS Entertainment and CBS News. News of the special comes exactly two weeks after his death at the age of 80.

“John Lewis was an extraordinary man,” said Winfrey. “A man of great vision who lived a life with the purpose of making sure America lived out its ideals.”

“This is a celebration of the ‘boy from Troy,’” added Perry. “A forefather of the civil rights movement, who would live to see his contributions for equality result in witnessing the swearing in of the first Black United States president.”

The special has also set a stellar lineup of performers including Yolanda Adams, Jon Batiste, Common, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Trevor Noah, Billy Porter and Wynonna.

“Congressman Lewis was one of the most prominent and forceful voices for change in this country. Losing that voice now is so difficult as the country confronts structural racism. But John Lewis gave us the will and the way to continue his work,” said Susan Zirinsky, president and senior executive producer of CBS News. “This special reminds us the journey will not be easy, and there’s no turning back.”

Brad Pitt, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers contribute to community food giveaway in Watts

From Fox 11: “Celebrities Brad Pitt and Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers used their platform for good and contributed to a community food giveaway Friday to help feed Watts residents in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The community gives back to me…I like being a part of it, I like building bridges, I like making friends. When corona hit and I was sitting around and going to the beach and stuff, I did a lot of thinking about people who really might be struggling because they’re not getting enough to eat and not making money during COVID times,” Flea said.

Every Friday morning, the Nickerson Gardens Clubhouse located on Compton Avenue hosts a community food giveaway.

Tonya Dorsey started Watts Community Core as a free boxing program to show at-risk youth a different path. However, the program was put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis as Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order that temporarily prevents many businesses from operating indoors, including fitness studios and gyms.

Instead, the program shifted its efforts and is now using the space as a place to feed the community, serving about 700 people on a weekly basis.

“There’s more than one story. We’re having stress because of COVID, we’re scared, we don’t know what’s going to happen next and then for a blessing like this to go on it lets us know that there is a God and someone who cares and that’s the core,” Dorsey said.

Flea was introduced to the program through a mutual friend.

“I just love being a part of it, but honestly, I don’t even think about it as giving as much as I get given to. I get welcomed here…we’re all working together doing something beautiful” he added.

Also on Friday morning, A-lister Brad Pitt drove a delivery truck and donated food baskets to the cause.

Pitt declined an interview but did wave to cameras as he unloaded the truck.

Residents said the giveaway is making a big difference during this difficult time.

“It’s a lot of help because I have four kids so it’s a lot of help right now,” Watts resident Jennifer Torres said.

The program is currently only able to feed about 700 people due to funding. If you’d like to help, visit the Watts Community Core website.”

Brad Pitt scores Emmy nomination for Saturday Night Live appearance

From Yahoo!: “Brad Pitt has scored an Emmy Award nomination for his guest appearance on sketch show Saturday Night Live.

The Hollywood star – who won an Oscar earlier this year – has been recognised by the TV academy for his portrayal of Dr Anthony Fauci, who has become the face of America’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Pitt took the role after Dr Fauci jokingly suggested he should play him.

Pitt, 56, is nominated in the guest actor in a comedy series category alongside British actor Dev Patel for Modern Love and Adam Driver and Eddie Murphy, both for SNL. Luke Kirby for The Marvellous Mrs Maisel and the late Fred Willard for Modern Family complete the list of nominees.

Pitt played Dr Fauci in an April episode of SNL, which was produced remotely due to the pandemic.

The leading immunologist later praised the portrayal and said: “I think he did great. I mean, I’m a great fan of Brad Pitt, and that’s the reason why when people ask me who’d I like to play me I mention Brad Pitt because he’s one of my favourite actors. I think he did a great job.”

During the sketch, Pitt broke character to send a message to frontline workers who had risked their lives during the health crisis.

“And to the real Dr Fauci, thank you for your calm and your clarity in this unnerving time,” Pitt said. “And thank you to the medical workers, first responders and their families for being on the front line.””

The Shining Prequel Movie Never Got Made Because of Doctor Sleep

From a Screen Rant article about a prequel to The Shining: “Speaking with Bloody Disgusting, Glen Mazzara, the screenwriter for The Overlook Hotel, reveals The Shining prequel was never made because of Doctor Sleep. The Overlook Hotel was to be based on King’s original prologue Before The Play, which was eliminated from his 1977 novel. Taking place at the beginning of the 20th century, the prequel would center on Bob T. Watson, a robber who traverses through the mountainside to build the titular Overlook Hotel. Revealing Brad Pitt was in consideration for the lead role and Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) was attached to direct, Mazzara notes the film would be expensive to make. Mazzara states why The Overlook Hotel never happened:

Eventually, what happened from my understanding, was that you had a Shining prequel with The Overlook Hotel, and you had a Shining sequel with Doctor Sleep. Warner Bros wasn’t going to commit to making both, so they ended up going with Doctor Sleep. So that’s how Doctor Sleep won that race.

‘Paper Girls’ Series Based on Sci-Fi Comics Gets Amazon Greenlight

From Variety: “The paper girls’ next time travel destination is a future television show.

Amazon has given the greenlight to a series based on “Paper Girls,” the sci-fi graphic novels written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang. The series hails from Amazon Studios and Legendary Television, in association with Brad Pitt’s Plan B shingle.

“Paper Girls” follows four young girls who, while out delivering papers on the morning after Halloween in 1988, become unwittingly caught in a conflict between warring factions of time-travelers, sending them on an adventure through time that will save the world. As they travel between our present, the past, and the future — they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate. The comics were first published in 2015, and there have been 30 issues to date.

“Toy Story 4” writer Stephany Folsom is set to pen and executive produce the adaptation, alongside Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers, who will also serve as co-showrunners.

“As huge fans of what Brian and Cliff created in ‘Paper Girls,’ we couldn’t be more excited by the opportunity to bring this incredible adventure to life,” said Folsom, Cantwell and Rogers in a statement. “This is a story with so much heart, and so many unique colors and dimensions — our sincere hope is not only to do justice to the source material, but to make ‘Paper Girls; unlike anything else currently on TV.”

Vaughan and Chiang are also on board as executive producers.

“We love bringing ‘Paper Girls; to our global Amazon Prime Video audience as an original series. Brian’s beloved, widely acclaimed and multiple Eisner Award-winning story delivers a gripping concept grounded by compelling characters,” added Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of television at Amazon Studios. “We have a great partnership with Legendary and Plan B, and the perfect creative team of Stephany, Christopher, and Christopher, to bring Brian and Cliff’s graphic novels to life.”

Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise Almost Starred In Ford v Ferrari

From Screen Rant: “Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski says he almost got Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise to star in Ford v Ferrari when he was on the project.

Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise nearly reunited in Ford v Ferrari. Released late in 2019, the period drama about Ford Motor Company’s battle to surpass dominant Ferrari in the world of international racing proved to be a big hit with $225 million at the global box office. The film also received wide critical acclaim, snagging four Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture.

Of course, a big reason for the movie’s success was the presence of legitimate star actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale at the top of the cast, Damon playing the brilliant automotive engineer and Bale as the fearless driver taking on the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It also didn’t hurt that the movie was directed by James Mangold, the man who previously helmed critical and financial hits Walk the Line and Logan. But naturally, as is the case with many movies, Ford v Ferrari went through a lot of twists and turns before finally having its big moment on screens. At one point, Joseph Kosinski was actually set to direct the film, and indeed Damon and Bale were not the first choice to star in the movie.

Speaking to Collider as part of the website’s Directors on Directing event for Comic-Con @ Home 2020, Kosinski in fact revealed who almost starred in Ford v Ferrari when he was still involved, and the names he dropped are two of the biggest in Hollywood (via Comic-Con International):

The one that I always think about that got away was called Go Like Hell. Which eventually did get made as Ford v Ferrari. I always wanted to make a racing film and, the thing about racing movies is, it can’t be about racing, it has to have some amazing story underneath to warrant itself being made. And that story was one of those great stories of an incredible friendship and an incredible rivalry and an incredibly dangerous race. So we, I wouldn’t say we got close to production, but I got to the point where I had Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt at a table read reading the script together, which was pretty amazing. But we couldn’t get the budget to the number it had to be at.

Kosinski of course has a strong connection with Cruise, having directed him in the sci-fi film Oblivion as well as the upcoming (and again delayed) Top Gun: Maverick. Cruise and Pitt obviously have on-screen history together too, having starred as a pair of elegant vampires in Neil Jordan’s 1994 gothic horror movie Interview With the Vampire. At that point though, Pitt was an up-and-coming actor while Cruise was already established as one of the biggest stars in the world. Had they appeared together in Ford v Ferrari it would have been on much more equal footing in terms of star power, but obviously the budget was not there to make both actors happy financially.

The question naturally is which actor would have played which of the movie’s lead roles in this alternative version. Cruise would seem the natural choice to play driver Ken Miles given his daredevil tendencies (and his experience behind the wheel on screen after his role in the NASCAR film Days of Thunder), and his portrayal of a British character would have given everyone the chance to enjoy Cruise attempting an accent. Frankly, Cruise feels like a bad fit for that character and it’s probably a good thing the part eventually went to Bale, who effortlessly embodied the complicated and ultimately doomed Miles. Pitt would have likely had little trouble playing cocky Texan Carroll Shelby, given his own roots in Oklahoma.

Ultimately, it’s hard to argue with the cast Ford v Ferrari ended up with, and it’s even harder to argue with the movie’s success both at the box office and with critics. But a reunion of Pitt and Cruise in a noisy racing movie, with Cruise attempting a British accent, would have obviously been amazing as well.”

James Gray Was ‘Troubled’ by ‘Ad Astra’ Science Criticisms: ‘A Fatuous Level of Critique’

From IndieWire: “Just how accurate do space movies have to be when it comes to science? Following the release of James Gray’s “Ad Astra” last fall, the film came under fire by the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson for containing numerous scientific inaccuracies. NBC News published an essay titled “What ‘Ad Astra’ and Brad Pitt Get Wrong About Space Travel,” while Esquire magazine fact checked the film and called out the impossibility of an astronaut space-walking through the rings of Neptune. For Gray, these scientific criticisms are as bogus as they are silly.

During a recent Instagram live interview with his producer Rodrigo Teixeira, Gray admitted all of the talk that centered on the scientific inaccuracies in “Ad Astra” troubled him because they were missing the point about the kind of story he was telling in his space epic. “Ad Astra” stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who sets out on a mission across the solar system to find out what happened to his disappeared father.

“We were trying to do a kind of fable or a myth in space,” Gray said of the film. “There are people who criticize your films, and a lot of times to my face they say things. It’s pretty funny. The assumption is you are a director and everybody lies to you. That’s not true in my case. Everyone comes up to me and is like, ‘You know what I hate about your movie is…’ A lot of the times they make a good point, but one of the things that troubled me about ‘Ad Astra’ was when people said, ‘Well, in the actual science his hair would be floating in zero G or he wouldn’t be able to sail through the rings of a planet.’” “To me, it’s a very fatuous level of critique,” Gray continued, “You don’t read the myth of Icarus and say, ‘Wax on feathers wouldn’t allow you to fly.’ Of course that’s true, but it’s all about metaphor essentially. I felt that we were trying to get at, and [cinematographer] Hoyte van Hoytema understood, something mythic, almost like a fable. He lit the film in that way. It’s a visually arresting movie. I’ve had people tell me they don’t like the movie but they remember how it looks completely. It’s a lot due to Hoyte’s boldness.”

The story of “Ad Astra” was so much more important than the science for Gray that he openly messed with science in order to sustain the emotional beats of the narrative. When Brad Pitt’s character cries during a climactic emotional breakthrough, his tear rolls down his cheek when in reality it would begin floating in zero gravity. Gray revealed last year that Pitt pushed for the scene to remain scientifically accurate, but Grey told his actor, “Sorry, I’m keeping it. The acting’s too good, buddy.” “