Several limited releases will be available in select theaters this week.
1. The Benefactor
First on the list is a new drama titled The Benefactor with Richard Gere (Unfaithful, Chicago), Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds, The Twilight Saga: New Moon), and Theo James (Underworld: Awakening, Insurgent) about a philanthropist who construes the lives of young couples in an attempt to relive his past. This will be the first feature-length film by writer/director Andrew Renzi (Karaoke!, Fishtail), who is also lined up to write an upcoming biographical film on Janis Joplin. Continue reading →
Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) is currently working on principle photography for his upcoming remake of the classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven. The original film was directed by legendary director John Sturges (The Great Escape, Joe Kidd) and featured an all-star cast that included Yul Brynner (The Ten Commandments), Eli Wallach (The Good The Bad and the Ugly), Steve McQueen (Bullitt), Charles Bronson (Death Wish), Robert Vaughn (Julius Caesar), Brad Dexter (Run Silent Run Deep), and James Coburn (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid). Composer Elmer Bernstein received an Oscar-nomination for Best Musical Score (Drama/Comedy) for his work on the picture, and the film was selected for the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board in 2013. Continue reading →
The new boxing drama Southpaw from The Shield and Sons of Anarchy writer/director Kurt Sutter is opening in theaters this Friday, July 24th. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer), the film stars Oscar-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal (October Sky, Prisoners) as boxer Billy Hope, who looks to boxing-trainer Tick Willis (portrayed by fellow Oscar-nominee Forest Whitaker) to help him train for a fight after the death of his wife and loss of his daughter to child services. Also starring in the film are actors Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers, A Most Wanted Man), Oona Laurence (Penny Dreadful, Lamb), and Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Skyfall). The trailer is here on MADE. See it on the big screen this Friday!
The Oscar-winning composer behind such famous scores as Titanic, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13, and A Perfect Storm, James Horner, has died at the age of 61 in Santa Barbara, California. Horner was flying a small single-engine aircraft when the plane went down, killing him and potentially another passenger. Horner’s reputation in Hollywood was impeccable; he was a long-time collaborator with director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) and producer Roger Corman (The Lady in Red, Battle Beyond the Stars), and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards (winning 2 for Titanic) and also won 4 Grammy’s (from a total of 11 nominations) for his work on Celine Dion‘s My Heart Will Go On and Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram‘s Somewhere Out There. Horner’s most recent work include Antione Fuqua‘s upcoming boxing drama Southpaw with Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, and Naomie Harris, and The 33, a drama revolving around the coal-mining disaster in which 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days. These will become Horner’s final projects; Southpaw is due out July 24th, while The 33 is expected in theaters November 13th, 2015. His work, his passion for music and his influence on film will be truly missed.
Director Antoine Fuqua‘s film adaptation of The Equalizer with Denzel Washington is coming to theaters this September 26th. The film is based on the 1980s TV series by screenwriter Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim and follows a retired Robert McCall (Washington) as he goes to the aid of a girl under the control of the Russian mafia. Denzel is joined on screen by Marton Csokas (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Bourne Supremacy), Chloe Grace Moretz (Hugo, Carrie), and Bill Pullman (Spaceballs, Independence Day) among others, but the film adaptation has received mixed reviews thus far. Some are criticizing the character differences between Denzel’s strong-minded McCall and Edward Woodward’s addicted down-on-your-luck private detective, but overall the critics seem pleased and Antoine Fuqua has received positive praise for his directing efforts on the film. But considering Denzel Washington won his Oscar for Best Actor working with Fuqua on Training Day back in 2001, that should really come as no surprise, and based on what we’ve seen in the trailers, it looks like it will be a really fun watch. You can watch the trailer here on MADE, but be sure to mark September 26th on your calender!
The Equalizer was a popular crime-drama from 1985 to 1989, which starred Edward Woodward in his Golden Globe winning role as private detective Robert McCall. Sony Pictures is currently wrapping up production on a film adaptation of the series, this time starring Denzel Washington as a retired McCall who is called back to action to rescue a young woman from Russian gangsters, and the studio may already be consider a sequel for the project. Screenwriter Richard Wenk, who wrote the script for the upcoming film, will return to script the sequel, but neither Washington or director Antoine Fuqua are currently signed on for a second movie. If The Equalizer does well when it hits theaters this Fall, however, maybe the studio will be quicker to draw up some new contracts.
John Singleton came right into the spotlight of Hollywood in 1991 when Boyz N The Hood was released to audiences already enveloped in the turbulent grunge/rave scene of the early ’90s. The filmmaker attended USC immediately after graduating from high school in 1986. During his time at school he wrote the script for Boyz N The Hood which was then picked up by Columbia Pictures, who then financed the film and earned Singleton two Oscar nominations, one for Best Director and the other for Best Screenplay (written directly for the screen). Singleton has done an impressive body of work since then, going on to write/direct Poetic Justice (1993) and Shaft (2000), as well as direct films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and Four Brothers (2005). Now Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Singleton has signed on to re-write the screenplay and also produce and direct a film about the late rapper Tupac Shakur. A biopic about the artist was in the works a few years ago with Antoine Fuqua heading the project, but the director fell away from the movie, which will now be co-produced/financed by Morgan Creek Films and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. Tupac was a highly influential artist in the early 1990s, with his work consisting of themes involving social class systems and the economic hardships and conditions of inner city living to name a few. He also made several appearances as an actor, including a supporting role in John Singleton’s Poetic Justice, making the director’s involvement with this biopic all the more personal. Tupac was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996, and died at UMC Southern Nevada six days later at the age of 25. There is no word yet as to who will be taking on the role of Tupac.