Category: Films

Steven Knight Says He Just Turned in a Draft for ‘World War Z 2’

From Collider: “As evidenced by 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four, sometimes reports of a tumultuous production can indeed be indicative of a disappointing final product. But one of the best examples of the opposite is Paramount’s World War Z, which battled rumors of issues on set and word of extensive reshoots and reworking of the film’s third act. When the movie finally hit theaters, however, it actually wasn’t that bad. Moreover, the finale—the part of the film that was causing Paramount so much trouble—ended up being the most compelling and satisfying portion of the film.

And the movie was a financial success to boot. So much so that Paramount and Brad Pitt started moving forward with a sequel, signing The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona to take the helm and Steven Knight (Locke, Eastern Promises) to pen the screenplay. Bayona had to tackle A Monster Calls first and Pitt has his own busy schedule to accommodate, but Paramount has dated World War Z 2 for release on June 9, 2017, and it now appears that things are coming together for production to get underway next year.

Steve recently spoke with Knight in anticipation of the release of Pawn Sacrifice, and the filmmaker revealed that he just recently turned in a draft of the World War Z sequel, saying he was essentially given a blank slate when he initially came onboard:

“I was approached with the idea of, ‘How do we move this along?’ so who could resist?”

Indeed, Knight previously said the follow-up begins with a clean slate, but nothing else is known story-wise for what befalls Pitt’s character in the zombie-infested sequel. A clue may be gathered by what Knight most liked about the first film:

“I think the beauty of the first film was the way that it never paused for breath. It never spent a moment thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, we’d better tell the audience what this is all about.’ It stayed in the moment, it stayed with that person.”

So if Knight was a fan of the single POV of World War Z, one could reasonably assume he’ll be keeping that aspect of the franchise intact for the sequel. But again, we don’t know anything about the story for the follow-up at this point, so it’s unclear where the film will be going.

In the originally shot third act for Marc Forster’s film, there was a time jump that saw Pitt’s character leading a team of zombie-clearers in Russia, discovering that cold is their weakness, then setting out to rescue his wife from the clutches of Matthew Fox’s military character in the planned follow-up. It’s unclear if Pitt, Bayona, and Knight will be drawing from any of that original story for this sequel, or if they’re charting new territory. Regardless, that’s a formidable filmmaking trio and I look forward to seeing what they put together.”

Angelina Jolie’s ‘By The Sea’ To Open AFI Fest 2015

From Deadline: “The American Film Institute has made the Angelina Jolie Pitt and Brad Pitt drama By The Sea the opening-night film of AFI Fest 2015, the annual festival that kicks off November 5. The Universal Pictures pic, which Jolie Pitt wrote and directed and stars in with husband Pitt, will bow in theaters November 13 as part of an Oscar push.

Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer co-star. The fest runs November 5-12 around LA including at the Dolby Theatre, the Chinese Theatre, the Egyptian Theatre and the Roosevelt Hotel. The full lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.”

‘Animal Kingdom’ Actor Anthony Hayes Joins ‘War Machine’ With Brad Pitt

From Variety: “Australian actor Anthony Hayes is the latest to join Brad Pitt in Netflix’s “War Machine.”

Topher Grace, Scoot McNairy, Emory Cohen, John Magaro and Anthony Michael Hall are also on board, with “Animal Kingdom” helmer David Michod directing and writing. Netflix will open the film in select theaters next year as well as stream the film on its online service.

Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing with Ian Bryce.

Based on Michael Hastings’ book “The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” the story follows a general, played by Pitt, whose track record lands him the commanding job in the American conflict in Afghanistan.

Principal photography is scheduled to start this fall.

Hayes and Michod previously worked together on the 2010 Australian crime drama “Animal Kingdom.” Hayes is also known for his work in “The Slap” and “The Rover.” He will appear next in Derek Cianfrance’s “Light Between Oceans” to be released later this year.”

Venice Film Festival: Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Audition’ Premiere Canceled

From The Hollywood Reporter: “One of the more anticipated screenings of the Venice Film Festival has been canceled this year. Martin Scorsese’s short film The Audition will not debut at the festival, as previously planned.

The festival said in a statement: “We have just been informed by the production that due to unexpected technical problems the film could not be here in time.”

Scorsese stars in the film, which has him pitting his frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro against each other for a leading role in an upcoming film. Brad Pitt also makes an appearance. Oscar-nominated writer Terence Winter penned the script.

Venice festivalgoers were looking forward to potential appearances by the Academy Award-winning director and actors.

The film’s inclusion in the world’s oldest film festival had been seen as controversial by some, as it was produced to promote the opening of Melco-Crown’s $2.3 billion Macau Studio City and the existing Manila City of Dreams resorts and casinos.

However, Venice director Alberto Barbera had told THR earlier in an interview, “It’s a Scorsese film, not a commercial. The casino paid for the film, but it’s not in the film at all.”

No expense was spared on The Audition. The short film has been rumored to have cost $70 million, with each actor taking home $13 million for the two-day shoot according to Page Six. The casino has denied these figures.

Teasers for the film were released in January this year, one with the actors on location in Manila and one in Macau, but they were quickly taken down.

A rep for the film told THR that, while the producers had hoped that the film would be ready in time for Venice, unfortunately the film is still in postproduction and could not be completed in time.”

By the Sea

From People: “It’s been 10 years since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt fell for each other on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith – beginning their love story and later cementing them as one of Hollywood’s most powerful couples – but now the stars are reuniting on screen in the new romantic drama By the Sea.

Set in France during the 1970s, By the Sea tells the story of a struggling marriage between Vanessa (Jolie Pitt), a former dancer, and her writer husband, Roland (Pitt). “It focuses on three couples, all at different stages in their lives,” the 40-year-old mom of six tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “And at its center are the questions of what happened to Roland and Vanessa and why they are in the place they are now.”

Now Jolie Pitt is sharing behind-the-scenes photos from the set, and opening up about what it’s like to work with her husband again after all these years.

The couple, who are coming up on their one-year wedding anniversary, traded in a typical newlywed celebration of private vacation time for an “unconventional” honeymoon, as Jolie Pitt describes it. The whole family, including their six children, jetted off to the Mediterranean nation of Malta to begin filming the ’70s drama.

Jolie Pitt wore numerous hats while working on set, acting as the writer, director and star of the film. “It was difficult to be both inside and outside of the scenes, to be able to give directions,” she explains.

The couple have no problem working together as parents and philanthropic partners, but for Jolie Pitt, taking on the role of director and giving Pitt, 51, instructions was not an easy task.

“It was hardest [when] I was directing our fight scenes,” she says.

But finding new ways to overcome this challenge only brought the couple closer together.

“I understand and appreciate his creative process and his work ethic even more than before,” she adds.

By the Sea hits theaters Nov. 13.”

See the new By the Sea photos at People.com.

A24 Teams With Brad Pitt’s Plan B for ‘Moonlight’

From Variety: “Three-year-old A24 is partnering with Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Adele Romanski to produce and finance coming-of-age story “Moonlight.”

Barry Jenkins will direct from his own his script, based on the Tarell McCraney play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” The movie is set in Miami during the war on drugs.

A24 is financing and owns worldwide rights with filming to take place in Miami in the fall. Jenkins directed 2009’s “Medicine for Melancholy.”

A24 announced in June that it was producing real-estate drama “The Liar’s Ball” with director J.C. Chandor, Neal Dodson and Anna Gerb. A24’s top box office performers have been “Ex Machina,” which has crossed $25 million domestically, and James Franco’s “Spring Breakers,” which grossed $14 million in 2013.

It also teamed with DirecTV to release release movies exclusively on the satellite TV provider before they hit theaters, including Ryan Reynolds’ “Mississippi Grind”; Charlize Theron’s thriller “Dark Places”; the Aubrey Plaza-starrer “Life After Beth”; Atom Egoyan’s “Captive,” starring Reynolds; and Julius Avery’s directorial debut, “Son of a Gun,” with Ewan McGregor and Brenton Thwaites.

“We are extremely proud to be involved with this heartfelt, groundbreaking film,” said A24 in a statement. “The opportunity to work with Barry, one of the most talented and daring contemporary directors, and Plan B, who consistently provide a home for filmmakers, is very exciting. We look forward to the collaboration.””

Angelina Jolie Pitt on By the Sea

There is an interview with Angelina at the DGA website where she talks about By the Sea: “For her latest movie, By the Sea, which she also wrote, Jolie Pitt could skip the meet-and-greets with at least two of her actors. She stars in the film with (Brad) Pitt. It’s about a deeply unhappy couple on vacation in France who becomes involved with a pair of newlyweds staying at their seaside inn. “I’d be directing myself and him in a scene where we’re having a fight, and I’d be pulling out the parts [of him] that have an aggression toward me or when you’re frustrated with each other—it was very heavy,” says Jolie Pitt. “We kept joking that all of the crew felt like they were living in a house where the parents were fighting and you don’t know where to stand or where to look.”

Filmed in Malta with a primarily European crew and cast, By the Sea was shot by Austrian cinematographer Christian Berger (The White Ribbon) who brought his Cine Reflect Lighting System to the mix. “There’s actually very little technical light in the room,” says Jolie Pitt of a system that involves using “paniflectors” to illuminate the actors. “It’s all based on using an outside source of light and using reflectors, a white plate, in front of the actors. And it felt like doing a play. You’re not conscious of the light and so you’re also not conscious of staying in the light or how you look. It made me act differently and made me direct differently too.

Described by Jolie Pitt as “an art film, the kind of movie that I like to see but not something I’m usually cast in,” she isn’t eager to direct a movie like By the Sea again soon. “We’re proud of ourselves for being brave enough to try it,” she says, adding that she and Pitt made it on their honeymoon. “I think By the Sea was the hardest film for me because it wasn’t [issue-driven]. It’s something I probably won’t do very much of.””

Scoot McNairy Joins Brad Pitt In Netflix’s ‘War Machine’

From Deadline: “Scoot McNairy has been set to join Brad Pitt in Netflix’s war-on-terror-themed black comedy War Machine. Last seen in Gone Girl, McNairy reunites here with Pitt and his Plan B partners after he worked with them on Killing Them Softly and 12 Years A Slave. He worked with War Machine helmer David Michod on The Rover.

The film is based on the Michael Hastings book The Operators: The Wild And Terrifying Inside Story Of America’s War In Afghanistan and satirizes the handling of that war, and the people running it. Michod wrote the script and Pitt produces with Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, in association with Ian Bryce.

McNairy just wrapped Sleepless Night opposite Jamie Fox and Michelle Monaghan. Later this year he stars opposite Sandra Bullock in Our Brand Is Crisis and in March will co-star in Superman V Batman: Dawn Of Justice.”

Will Poulter Joins Brad Pitt in Netflix’s ‘War Machine’

From Variety: “Will Poulter has closed a deal to join Brad Pitt in the Netflix black comedy “War Machine.”

Topher Grace, Scoot McNairy, Emory Cohen, John Magaro and Anthony Michael Hall are also on board, with “Animal Kingdom” helmer David Michod directing and writing. Netflix will open the film in select theaters next year as well as stream on the film on its online service.

Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing with Ian Bryce.

Based on Michael Hastings’ book “The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan,” the story follows a general, played by Pitt, whose track record lands him the commanding job in the American conflict in Afghanistan.

Principal photography is scheduled to start this fall.”

Anthony Michael Hall to Star in Brad Pitt’s ‘War Machine’ Netflix Original Movie

From Variety: “Anthony Michael Hall will star alongside Brad Pitt in “War Machine,” Netflix’s satirical comedy about the U.S.’ engagement in the conflict in Afghanistan, slated to be released in 2016.

Hall, whose credits include “Foxcatcher,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Breakfast Club,” will play the second-in-command to Pitt’s four-star general, who’s based on the real-life Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Cast also includes Topher Grace (“That ’70s Show”), who will play a civilian media adviser.

“War Machine” is written and directed by David Michôd (“Animal Kingdom”) and based on Michael Hastings’ book “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan.” Film is to be produced by Pitt and his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, along with Ian Bryce (“World War Z”).

Netflix has said the original film will be available in theaters and to streaming subscribers in 2016 — although large theater chains have been vocal about their plans to boycott the company’s releases, given Netflix’s short or nonexistent theatrical windows.”